DIG OUT your fishnets and polish up your dancing shoes, ladies and gents, because the most show-stopping event in the property calendar will be upon us in just two days. On Thursday, LandAid’s Party near the Park will be taking place again at Old Billingsgate Market, with hundreds of senior figures from the real estate world ready to belt out the classics for a good cause.

Last year, the Stars in their Eyes-style competition was won by a quartet from Ernst & Young singing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”. This year, the theme is “one hit wonders”, and as usual, there’ll be no shortage of top talent ready to get up on stage and cast their modesty to one side in the name of charity.

Nick Leslau and Mike Brown, the big-name duo at the helm of Prestbury Investments, will be performing “Play that Funky Music”, while Mike Slade, the chief executive of Helical Bar, will be leading his troupe of lovely ladies, the Helicalettes, in a rendition of the raunchy “Lady Marmalade”.

They’ll be going up against Prupim’s Paul McNamara with “Come on Eileen”, Argent’s Tony Giddings singing “Out of Time”, and the “Property Girls” – including the British Property Federation’s Liz Peace, Hogan Lovells lawyer Gill McGreevy and Helen Smith of Aberdeen Asset Management. May the best men – or women – win…

Following in the footsteps of the East London Bond, a charitable bond aimed at raising investment for housing developments in the poorer areas around the City, disability charity Scope has now launched a new investment platform for venture philanthropists.

In a nutshell, investors are being asked to donate £2,800 – on which they can claim a higher rate tax relief of £1,050 – and invest £7,000 interest-free for three years in the scheme, named the Grangewood Venture Philanthropy Project.

With the money, Scope can support an additional commercial loan of £7,500 – meaning that for every £1,750 committed by donors, £18,000 of investment is generated to fund new flats for the severely disabled.

The project is being supported by West Ham FC vice-chairman Karren Brady, Duke Street Capital partner Tim Lebus and Octopus Ventures managing director Alex Macpherson, as well as serial director Isabel Hudson, who chairs Scope’s business development board.

“This is very much a product of its time,” Hudson – also a former Prudential executive and now director of Phoenix – tells me. “Today’s charitable donors are very concerned about getting value for money, and this platform can give them that. There are many people out there sitting on lots of money in bank accounts, earning peanuts in interest, and we want to show them how they can make better use of it.”

Those keen for more details should visit