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National Car Parks

national car parks, national car parks head office
National Car Parks NCP is the United Kingdom’s largest and longest-standing private car park operator, with over 150,000 spaces across more than 500 car parks in towns, cities, airports and London Underground and National Rail stations


  • 1 History
  • 2 Current operations
  • 3 Events
  • 4 Controversies
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


NCP was founded in 1931 by Colonel Frederick Lucas In October 1948 Ronald Hobson, together with his business partner Sir Donald Gosling, founded Central Car Parks when the pair invested £200 in a bombsite in Holborn, central London to create a car park In 1959 Central Car Parks took over NCP from Anne Lucas, the widow of Colonel Lucas1

Hobson and Gosling expanded the company by recognising the under-developed state of many post-World War II British cities and towns The pair began buying vacant sites in city centres, converting them into car parks NCP then began managing sites on behalf of third parties

By the mid-1990s NCP had become one of the most successful private businesses in Britain In 1998, after a flotation of the business on the London Stock Exchange was cancelled at a late stage, the company was bought by US-based property and travel services provider Cendant for £801million with Hobson, Gosling, and their family trusts who owned 725% of the National Parking Corporation taking £580million2

The new owners re-focused the company’s operations, changing NCP from a mainly property owning company into a more service-focused organisation in the broader transport sector In 1999 NCP launched the UK’s first private-public partnership, setting up a joint venture with Manchester City Council to establish NCP Manchester Ltd NML

In 2002 Cendant sold NCP to UK-based Cinven NCP began to develop business contracts in the provision of enforcement services for local authorities, vehicle removals and debt recovery, where by 2005 it had become market leader in its field

NCP was sold to 3i in July 2005 for £555million, with 3i saying it would continue to grow NCP as a service-oriented and public-outsourcing company in order to maximise the growth potential of both sides of the business3

Current operationsedit

In 2007 National Car Parks Limited was acquired by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II4 Today NCP hosts car parking across the UK, supporting car parking facilities at some of the most popular public sites such as London Heathrow Airport, Manchester Arena and Birmingham New Street railway station

In 2013 NCP launched a new website and online strategy enabling customers to pre-book their parking at over 100 of their rail, city and town centre car parks This was an industry first for the UK market

In 2014 NCP signed partnerships with a trio of the UK’s largest online and mobile parking consolidators having opened up its off-street pre-booking technology to third-party providers and parking retailers for the first time Deals have been struck with JustPark, ParkJockey and YourParkingSpace, enabling these popular parking brands to offer their users thousands of NCP spaces at over 100 sites5

In 2017, Macquarie Group sold their 100% stake in NCP Ltd to Park24 Co Ltd and Development Bank of Japan Inc 100% government owned 6 7


National Car Parks has become very popular with numerous industries looking for alternative-style venues to stage events

Since 2010 House of Holland has booked out the Brewer Street NCP to host their catwalk shows for London Fashion Week; previous attendees have included Alexa Chung, Jamie Winstone and Rachel Bilson8

In Cardiff, Evans Cycles have created the Urban Duel, a BMX racing event that takes place in NCP Dumfries Place There are plans to host this event at other car parks around the country9

Art Drive exhibited its collection of classic BMWs designed by famous artists including Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Jeff Koons and Roy Lichtenstein at the Great Eastern Street NCP in Shoreditch10

As part of the Manchester International Festival, National Car Parks arranged a live relay screening of Kenneth Branagh’s new play Macbeth with hundreds of fans turning up to the open-air screening11


In the early 1990s NCP was accused of planting spies in rival group Europarks, but Britain's then biggest industrial espionage trial ended with the full acquittal of NCP chief executive Gordon Layton12

In November 2013, following the announcement that Hull was to be the UK City of Culture 2017, NCP Managing Director Duncan Bowins took to popular social media website Facebook and branded the city "a shehole" - despite the fact that his car parks took over £1 million from the city each year13 This "crude slur" led to Duncan Bowins winning the Award for "Most Inappropriate Use of Social Media" at the Hull Daily Mail Angus Young Awards 201314

In December 2013 the Crawley News and The Argus reported that NCP staff had been parking in the town's limited disabled bays for convenience15 An NCP spokeswoman subsequently issued a statement claiming the pair had parked there to clear leaves from the car park and that there had been nowhere else to park However, when the Crawley News published a photo clearly showing spaces right next to the disabled bay, the firm's Head of Operations Nigel Sorenson called to apologise and admitted that the incident was "embarrassing and upsetting" for the company16

Part of a car park operated by NCP in Nottingham collapsed on the 19th August 2017 Vehicles were left dangling from the edge of the city centre car park after it partially collapsed It left three vehicles hanging over the edge of the car park from a floor roughly 50 ft 15m above the ground and blocked the entrance and exit of the car park with fallen concrete17

See alsoedit

  • NSL Services Group


  1. ^ Ray Clancy, "The story of National Car Parks", PropertyForumcom, 09/10/2008
  2. ^ BBC, "Millions for car park entrepreneurs", BBC Business, 24/03/1998
  3. ^ 3i, "3i closes on £555 million acquisition of NCP", 3icom, 01/09/2005
  4. ^ Peter Smith, "3i sells NCP car parks unit for £790M", Financial Times, 15/03/2007
  5. ^ James Gordon-MacIntosh, "NCP partners with trio of “mobile first”,", Parking Network, 16/10/2014
  6. ^ https://wwwncpcouk/download/1911/
  7. ^ https://wwwncpcouk/help-centre/about-us/
  8. ^ Vogue, "House of Holland", Vogue, 15/09/2012
  9. ^ Evans, "Evans Cycles Urban Dual", Evans Cycles, 28/10/2012
  10. ^ Beth Parnell-Hopkinson, "Art Drive! @ NCP Car Park Shoreditch", Londonist, 17/07/2012
  11. ^ Dianne Bourne, "All eyes on Sir Ken as Manchester International Festival bows out", Manchester Evening News, 22/07/2013
  12. ^ David Connett, "Car parks chief is cleared of spying on rival", The Independent, 13 March 1993
  13. ^ James Burton, "NCP boss in crude Facebook outburst at Hull", Hull Daily Mail, 30 November 2013
  14. ^ Angus Young, "The Angus Young Awards 2013", Hull Daily Mail, 30 November 2013
  15. ^ Neil Vowles, "'Disgust' as NCP van parks in disabled bay", The Argus, 11 December 2013
  16. ^ Dave Comeau, "NCP embarrassed after staff park in disabled bay", Crawley News, 19 December 2013
  17. ^ "Nottingham NCP car park collapse prompts call for answers" BBC News 2017-08-21 Retrieved 2017-08-21 

External linksedit

  • NCP - National Car Parks and Airport Parking

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National Car Parks

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