Regional investment: making a difference across the UK

Setting the scene

Our ambition is to be the leading firm. And as part of our effort to make this happen we're changing where and how we work.  

To achieve this, it is vital we provide an inspiring environment in which all our people can give their best, and we attract and retain the best talent. Additionally, we’re developing different types of office space that better meets our clients’ and people’s needs. We're investing heavily to create tech-enabled, flexible working environments with more choice and flexibility on how and where we work.

PwC is actively expanding its presence across the UK to match the changing footprint of its clients and make the most of new opportunities in fast growing regions, like the Midlands and the North West. In 2017, 55 per cent of our graduate intake was recruited into roles outside London and that will rise to 60 per cent in 2018.

We are consolidating our presence into fewer, larger regional offices, so we can work together with our clients and staff in different and more effective ways. Bringing our regional teams together in larger offices offers us more opportunities to combine the capabilities of our lines of service, and go to local and regional markets with the wider set of expertise that our clients need.

 

“Our new office in Manchester focuses on allowing our people and clients to work flexibly, utilising technology to ensure we can work together effectively. This is a truly transformational move for PwC in Manchester and our people."

Iwan Griffiths PwC’s North West regional chairman

What we did

As part of our regional strategy and office transformation programme we have seen significant investment in two new landmark buildings; Our Manchester office No. 1 Spinningfields, which we moved into in November, and One Chamberlain Square, our new home for our Birmingham teams, currently under construction.

In Manchester we saw the start of a new era in November when the 920 staff in our Manchester office said farewell to Barbirolli Square, the home of PwC Manchester for the last 20 years, and relocated to the new iconic No1 Spinningfields - the final commercial property to be constructed as part of the Spinningfields development.

No1 Spinningfields is a world-class building, designed by locally based Ian Simpson Architects and is the tallest built commercial building in Manchester during the last 50 years. Consisting of over 260,000sqft of space across 19 floors PwC will initially occupy 67,000 sq.ft over three floors with a further floor of 25,000 sq.ft which has been secured for future growth.

In Birmingham, we committed in March 2016 to occupy 90,000 sq ft at the new office building and we have now extended its 20-year lease for the remaining 60,000 sq ft of office space over two and half floors. As well as relocating our existing 1,400-strong Birmingham team from Cornwall Court in 2019, the additional space has the potential to accommodate an additional 1,000 people as PwC grows across the Midlands.

Making a difference

In both locations, the office space is designed to provide a variety of choice, break down barriers, hierarchies and physical separations between teams and provide total flexibility with a choice of different work settings for the way PwC works now and in the future. This includes different types of workspaces; tables for team collaboration, booths and soft seating for informal discussions, pods for solo quiet time, touchdown spots and high benches for quick tasks or work whilst standing. Our spaces are also designed with our clients in mind and include convenient client work spaces that can be used by clients when visiting PwC.

Considering our people’s wellbeing in the design of our buildings plays a vital role in our commitment to making sure our people are motivated to give their best and are in good health. We have worked closely with our developers and landlords throughout the builds to ensure our new offices deliver inspiring workplaces that create welcoming spaces in the heart of the communities we serve.

For instance our newer offices are designed to allow more daylight, which helps to boost people’s immune system and has a positive impact on their alertness and productivity. They also have facilities for our people to take time out and rest or reflect during the day. We also encourage an active lifestyle by providing facilities such as bike racks, showers and lockers.

We have worked with catering partners to ensure healthy, nutritious food is available for our people via the restaurants in our offices, and ensuring that vending machines include healthy options.

We are proud to put the environment as well as our people at the heart of the design of our buildings. Our new Manchester office has recently been rated as excellent by BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). The world's longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings, BREEAM uses scientifically based sustainability metrics and indices that covers a range of environmental issues. Its categories evaluate energy and water use, health and wellbeing, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.

“One Chamberlain Square will be in the vanguard for our larger regional office model, operating as tech-enabled, flexible working environments that allow us to respond with real agility to deliver exceptional client value and a great working experience for our people.”

Matthew HammondMidlands Region Chairman of PwC

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