Middlesbrough’s position as the Tees Valley’s professional and business services hub has taken a giant step forward with the completion of the next phase of the transformational Centre Square development.
6 Centre Square is both a stunning new addition to the local skyline as well as the latest stage of a project which – in less than four years – has delivered three new buildings into the heart of the town centre, adding around 140,000 sq ft of much-needed Grade A office space.
A number of professional services companies have already moved to Centre Square to enjoy the many benefits the buildings and their location have to offer.
Those benefits include a light, comfortable sustainable and flexible working environment with the full range of benefits of a town centre location – including easy access to high quality public realm, local amenities and public transport – all of which make it easier to attract and retain high quality staff.
Occupiers of Centre Square include GB Bank – one of the country’s newest banks – Causeway Technologies, Firstsource, the Frazer-Nash Consultancy and the XPS Pension Group. Together they employ more than 1,000 people and say the quality of their new offices and location have helped them grow. XPS, for example, has increased its number of employees from 80 to 140 and Chris Jones – the North East Group Leader of Frazer-Nash – said its position will undoubtably help recruitment. “We will struggle to attract talent from the wider North East if we’re not near good transport links and amenities, and being in the middle of town helps us hugely with that,” he said.
AXA relocated 450 staff in April
In April the insurance giant AXA UK relocated 450 of its staff to 6 Centre Square, occupying more than half the space.
Vicky Walker, Head of Operational Excellence at AXA UK Retail Insurance said: “We visited the site before moving in and saw images of how the office was going to be laid out, but even so we’re delighted with the end result. Not only is it modern and energy efficient, it also offers a more flexible working environment and is designed to encourage our people to come into the office and get the most out of being there.”
6 Centre Square office suites from 2,500-10,000 sq ft are still available on the ground and top floors. The top floor provides clear views of all of the major local landmarks – Roseberry Topping, the Transporter Bridge and the Riverside Stadium – and the whole building benefits from a light and airy environment created by floor to ceiling glazing and 3m floor to ceiling heights.
The building has a BREEAM Very Good rating and was designed with a number of energy efficient and sustainable features. It has photovoltaic panels on the roof, a solar hot water system, a rainwater harvesting system and heating and cooling and mechanical ventilation systems with heat recovery. As a result, energy usage is projected to be less than half that of older office buildings in the region.
The development of Centre Square has coincided with another transformation on Teesside as it spearheads the UK’s green industrial revolution within a new Freeport which is anticipated to create 18,000 jobs over the next five years.
Work is underway at SeAH Wind to build the world’s biggest offshore factory and the company has already started recruiting 700 employees.
A number of other major projects are also well advanced, including Net Zero Teesside: a major power generation, carbon capture, utilisation and storage project led by bp. Louise Kingham, the company’s UK head of country and senior vice president of Europe, said: “We’re backing Teesside, and to support it are working with local partners to establish skills and training programmes to help equip the local community to build careers in these vital low carbon industries.”
The developer of Centre Square says there is a need for the Tees Valley’s supporting infrastructure, including hotel accommodation and office space to continue to keep pace with the needs of the industrial giants – like bp – which are heading to the area.
Further investment to ensure benefits
Mark Ashall, Managing Director of Ashall Projects, said: “They have to go hand-in-hand and that’s why 6 Centre Square is such an important development for Middlesbrough, but it can’t stop there.
“There needs to be further investment in Centre Square to ensure the town and its people really see the benefits of this once-in-a-lifetime transformation happening right on their doorstep.”
Outline planning permission is already in place for the next stage of the Centre Square project.
6 Centre Square is leased by AXA from the Tees Valley Combined Authority, which invested nearly £10m in the latest phase of the Centre Square development, and owns the building. Middlesbrough Council has also contributed £2million to the project from its £21.9m Towns Fund allocation from Central Government.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said the new building will bring far-reaching benefits to the area. “Six Centre Square is yet another example that shows young people can stay close to home and go far – raising families here and contributing to our economy.”
He added: “The vision for Centre Square is an impressive one – and across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool we’re helping to create lifechanging opportunities and paths to careers on our doorstep.
“Professional services companies looking to grow or break new ground are now choosing Teesside due to the fantastic opportunities we’ve got to offer and Centre Square is the ideal location for them.”
If you want more information about the available space in 6 Centre Square please contact either Dodds Brown on 01642 244130 or David Jackson (01642 791390)/Chris Black (01609 797373 ) of APP Jackson & Partners.