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Our regional presence is fundamental to our Purpose. Throughout FY21, we maintained focus on redressing regional disparities and driving economic growth, with almost 11,500 people outside of London representing our commitment to creating quality jobs and encouraging social mobility across the UK.  

Like our clients we’ve adapted to new ways of working, but our offices remain vital to supporting them, our people and communities - particularly as we embrace hybrid working. This year, we developed our largest office outside of London - our Belfast HQ at Merchant Square - where it’s recognised that our investment is helping the city centre bounce back. The launch of a new £40m Advanced Research & Engineering Centre, will create up to 800 jobs in Northern Ireland, showing our commitment to our fastest-growing UK region. 

In our Bradford Assurance Centre, we created 60 roles in a new claims management handling service - adding to the alternative delivery models that clients can access through our growing Execution Managed Services portfolio. Meanwhile, our new Watford office puts us at the centre of a diverse community, and a new client lounge at Embankment Place in London makes agile working easier.  

Our regional teams also continued to share their skills, time, and talent with their local communities. FY21 saw one of the largest single volunteering projects in our history. Our Manchester team supported the city council in getting almost 11,000 food parcels to vulnerable members of the community.

Action to support levelling up was a strong feature of our work across all regions this year, with a focus on technology, skills, and enabling economic recovery. Through #TechEnableScotland we brought together businesses to discuss how technology can accelerate the country’s recovery, while our Scale programmes in Reading connected tech companies with growth opportunities. In the North, we supported local authorities in Liverpool, Bradford, Manchester and Sheffield with the implementation of their economic recovery plans. In Wales, we hosted a roundtable of business and public sector leaders as part of our Future of Government programme. Research and consultation is key to this initiative, which also includes our latest Good Growth for Cities report.

Private business has delivered outstanding growth across the regions. We helped clients protect their legacy, prepare for growth, and take action on priorities such as ESG strategies, cyber security, and succession planning.

The year ahead will see UK regions at the centre of international focus and we’re excited to play our part. In preparation for the UN Climate Change Summit (COP26) in November, we’re investing in our first Net Zero Hub at our Glasgow office, where we will showcase the firm's sustainability and climate change work, while our sponsorship of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will help maximise positive social and environmental impact. 

We’re committed to contributing to levelling up across regions in and beyond FY22, creating inclusive employment, and helping build a greener, fairer UK economy.

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Carl Sizer, UK Head of Regions

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