PwC opens Birmingham Paradise site

As part of a major regional expansion, PwC has started moving staff into a new Midlands headquarters at One Chamberlain Square in Birmingham’s Paradise development

This is part of a long-term plan to reduce the firm’s London-centric focus which has seen staff relocated out of London and the closure of a number of smaller regional offices.

In the last five years, PwC has cut the number of UK offices from 34 to 24, with a move towards larger regional hubs and more flexible working patterns.

PwC will be the sole tenant in the seven-storey, 172,000sq ft office building at One Chamberlain Square. Around 2,000 staff are relocating from the firm’s old Cornwall Street site. A further 300 staff will move in by the end of 2020 through a mixture of hires and relocation.

The Birmingham office has seen significant growth in recent years, with the head count at PwC rising from 1,400 to 2,000 over the last two years alone.

The PwC tower is the first development to open in the Paradise scheme. A second tower, Two Chamberlain Square, will be completed in late 2020.

The Birmingham project has been three years in the planning with a diverse steering group, from new joiners to senior partners, working on the project, and canvassing the opinions and requirements of all staff. The workspace design gives staff and clients a choice of flexible and tech-enabled settings.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner, PwC UK said: ‘This is PwC’s largest property investment outside London to date. We are committed to working with government and other organisations to play our part in building a vibrant and sustainable economy across the UK.

‘By 2021 we plan to have added 1,000 new roles in Birmingham, and we’re moving quickly to reach this target with 700 of these new jobs already created.

‘This new office complements our other investments across the UK, including Bristol, Reading, Leeds, Bradford Manchester, Edinburgh, and we’ll be opening a new Belfast office in late 2020.

‘We have been investing and developing our workforce across the UK, by creating inclusive employment and training opportunities for people from all backgrounds.’

The Birmingham office is headed up by Matthew Hammond, Midlands region chairman and senior partner for PwC in Birmingham. He said: ‘It is with immense pride on behalf of all those involved in PwC’s investment in One Chamberlain Square that we move into our new home in the very heart of Birmingham and the UK.

‘The culmination of many years’ hard work by our colleagues and the development partners have made the visionary scheme for Paradise, and in particular One Chamberlain Square, a reality.’

The new PwC office overlooks Birmingham’s Grade 1 listed Town Hall, Victorian Council House and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

When completed the two million square feet Paradise project is meant to include 10 new buildings, offering offices, shops, bars, cafés, restaurants and a four-star hotel across 17 acres in the heart of the city.

The Paradise redevelopment is private-public joint venture with Paradise Circus Limited Partnership (PCLP) and a 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. 

Paradise is part of the UK's largest city centre Enterprise Zone and has already been given investment by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) in enabling and infrastructure works.

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