Staff from AXA UK have had a first look round their new multi-million pound Middlesbrough headquarters.
When the building – 6 Centre Square – is finished early next year 450 AXA employees will move to a spacious and sustainable working environment which was designed to make the best use of natural light.
As well as a tour of their new HQ, the AXA team visited the offices of GB Bank which has just moved into one of the first two buildings of the initial Centre Square project.
Liz Ferry – Investor and Community Relations for GB Bank – said: “Even when it was empty the space was beautiful. There was so much bright light and we wanted to incorporate that into the way we work.”
Although GB Bank’s employees can split their time between home or office working, extra desks had to be added because staff were so impressed by their new surroundings they wanted to spend more time there, she said.
GB Bank’s visitors said the design of the office had given them food for thought. “The light in a modern building makes you feel really positive about going to work,” said Jamie Simmons of AXA UK. “Rather than sometimes thinking home’s better, it will also be a pleasure to come into the office.”
The new building is on target to be ready early next year and has already made a strong impression. “It’s brilliant – the difference between what we have now and what we can look forward to,” said Mr Simmons.
The Centre Square development was launched five years ago by Ashall Projects in partnership with Middlesbrough Council. Six Centre Square – is being funded and bought by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority. Middlesbrough Council is also contributing a £2m grant to the project from its Towns Fund allocation which was provided by the government as part of the levelling up programme.
As well as GB Bank the first two Centre Square buildings have attracted six other companies – XPS, Firstsource, Causeway Technologies, two firms of barristers – Dere Street and Park Square – and the Frazer-Nash Consultancy. Only 5,500 sq ft remains available.
Together the new Centre Square occupiers employ around a thousand people who, as well as enjoying a Grade A office environment, are just a short walk from Middlesbrough town centre’s amenities and transport links.
Plans are already well advanced for Centre Square’s next phase. Ashall Projects has secured outline planning permission for further buildings and it is confident that they will attract more companies to the town centre.
“The great thing about our development now is that we’ve got two completed buildings and a third well on the way and businesses can see that they’re going to get the best possible office space the area has to offer,” said Ashall Projects Managing Director Mark Ashall.
“The green industrial revolution taking place in the Tees Valley is seeing investment on a level never seen before here. The companies involved need office space as well as the support of professional services. That’s why the Frazer-Nash Consultancy, for example, has moved to Centre Square which is rapidly becoming the business district for the area.
“Middlesbrough is moving forward again. Centre Square is bringing jobs, spending power and an exciting future back to the town.”
For details about opportunities at Centre Square contact commercial property specialist Dodds Brown on 01642 244130