PwC goes for growth at Paradise, Birmingham

Dec 14, 2017

Professional services firm PwC has confirmed that it will take the whole of the commercial office space at One Chamberlain Square, the first building which will be completed at the £700 million Paradise development in Birmingham, to accommodate its planned regional expansion and future market opportunities.

PwC had already committed in March 2016 to occupy 90,000 sq ft at new office building One Chamberlain Square and has 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 its existing 1,400-strong Birmingham team from Cornwall Court in Summer 2019, the additional space has the potential to accommodate an additional 1,000 people as PwC grows across the Midlands.

Matthew Hammond, Midlands Region Chairman of PwC, said: “This is a significant move for PwC and one of the largest regional investments we have ever made in the UK. Our new place in the heart of Birmingham gives us the opportunity to grow and deepen the skills of existing teams and client relationships across the Midlands. 

“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 Birmingham and the West Midlands. 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.

“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.”

Designed by Eric Parry Architects, One Chamberlain Square is already making its mark on the city’s skyline and will reach its highest point later this month with the official building ‘topping out’. Featuring an elegant, curved external structure, effectively using a variety of materials to complement the neighbouring civic architecture, top quality restaurant and retail uses are planned for the ground floor and the large roof terrace on the sixth floor will offer spectacular views across the city.

Chris Taylor, Head of Private Markets at Hermes Investment Management, said: “Paradise is of pivotal importance to the rejuvenation of Birmingham City Centre as a dynamic commercial destination, attracting talent and global capital. It is therefore fitting that PwC has made the decision to further expand its business presence at One Chamberlain Square.

“The extensive enhancements we have made to Paradise, together with world class place making and environmental improvements, will help transform the city centre and create a sense of pride, identity and belonging for the wider citizens of Birmingham. PwC’s expansion is testament to the long-term responsible investment approach we have adopted at Paradise, where we have a conviction to ensure our investment has a positive impact upon the environment and society at large.”

Paradise Birmingham is part of the city’s Enterprise Zone, playing a key part to attract business and investors to the region and underpinning Birmingham’s growth strategy to create jobs and improve infrastructure across the region.

Rob Groves, Regional Director at Argent, said: “This is a huge vote of confidence not only in Paradise and the environment we are creating, but in Birmingham and the region. The news that PwC will ultimately be bringing over 2,300 staff in good time to One Chamberlain Square, creates huge momentum behind everything we are doing here and the on-going work to place Birmingham as one of Europe’s top locations for business.”

“Most importantly, the building will allow PwC to work more collaboratively in an efficient and contemporary environment servicing its many clients across the Midlands. I am sure PwC will love its new location overlooking one of the most vibrant and well known locations in the city and we will continue to work very closely together to deliver the very best working environment.”

As well as One Chamberlain Square, the second building at Paradise, Two Chamberlain Square, is now under construction and due to complete before the end of 2019. Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, Two Chamberlain Square is an eight storey, 183,000 sq ft building that will prove to be a striking contemporary addition to Chamberlain Square.

At 1.8 million square feet, Paradise will deliver up to ten new flagship buildings, offering offices, shops, bars, cafés, restaurants and a four star hotel across 17 acres of Birmingham’s historic civic centre. Demolition of the former Birmingham Conservatoire and Fletcher’s Walk is now underway to allow for phase two of the project to progress. A planning application for the first major office building in phase two, the 290,000 sq ft, 13 storey One Centenary Way, will follow shortly.

The Paradise redevelopment is being brought forward through Paradise Circus Limited Partnership (PCLP), a private-public joint venture with Birmingham City Council. The private sector funding is being managed by Hermes Investment Management which has partnered with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) on the first phase of the development. Argent is the development manager.

PwC has been advised by CBRE and Squire Patton Boggs, with Paradise Birmingham (Hermes Paradise Circus Limited Partnership) represented by GVA and Berwin Leighton Paisner.

A website showcasing the vision for Paradise, in addition to a live time-lapse camera, can be viewed at www.paradisebirmingham.co.uk

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