One of the UK’s largest housing associations has announced the developer and contractor who will create its new head office in Newcastle City Centre.
Home Group has appointed Ask Real Estate and BAM Construction to deliver its purpose-built home in Strawberry Lane.
The north east-based organisation was given planning permission earlier this year to build the 70,000sq ft building which will be set over six floors in the fast developing St James’ part of the city.
Close to 700 of its 2,600 strong workforce will move into the new building in 2022.
Home Group’s board approved Ask’s appointment late last month and work is set to start on site in early Autumn.
The board said key areas which stood out in Ask’s bid were its collaborative approach and how they demonstrated their record of working on complex projects on constrained city centre sites. Their approach to sustainable building was also key.
Ask is renowned for delivering high quality developments in urban centres right across the north of England.
The Manchester-based company has a portfolio of 20 current or completed projects, comprising over 3 million sq ft of floorspace and generating an end value approaching £1bn.
Included in that is the proposed £260m 800,000 sq ft arena-led Gateshead Quays re-development between the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts and the Sage music venue in Gateshead, and a 245 unit residential scheme at Tower Works in Leeds city centre.
The UK arm of international construction company BAM, which delivers high level projects across the world, will build the new head office. They have worked closely with Ask on projects such as 100 Embankment in Manchester. They impressed the board with their customer focussed approach to construction and considered approach to delivering the building.
The building, which will complement the growing development in this area of the city, will house Home Group’s administrative and customer service centre staff.
Joe Cook, Executive Director of Development at Home Group, said: “We are delighted with the appointment of Ask Real Estate. Their outstanding work, especially in city centres, speaks for itself. The project team and I are excited about working with them, and the excellent BAM.
“Ask’s track record in delivering high-quality, innovative and sustainable buildings was key in our decision to appoint them. The sustainability of the building, in particular, is extremely important.
“This is a highly significant project for us – one that benefits a wide range of stakeholders, including our colleagues, our customers, the voluntary sector, the city council and the city centre businesses. We are proud of our north east roots and this move to Newcastle City Centre strengthens those roots even further.”
Ask Real Estate Managing Director, John Hughes said: “We are proud to have been selected by Home Group and to hear that our best in class approach in delivering Grade A office buildings for forward thinking organisations such as Home Group has been recognised.
“This is another significant instruction for Ask in the north east region and we look forward to commencing work on delivering this landmark new HQ for Home Group.”
Tony Fitzgerald, Construction Director for BAM in the North East, said: “Our approach is highly collaborative and based around a very close understanding of what our clients need, combined with a strong digital and technological capability. This helps us deliver sustainability and quality.
“We also have excellent relationships with the supply chain in the north east, developed over many years of commitment here since our first scheme in 1916! Our track record since then includes many of the region’s finest buildings.”
The new head office will play a significant role in Home Group’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Not only will the building adhere to the latest sustainable practices, the relocation from North Tyneside to Newcastle City Centre will reduce the organisation’s environmental impact in other ways.
“We are working up a range of plans and offers to encourage colleagues to move to more sustainable modes of transport as part of our move, something we are receiving excellent support with from the transport team at Newcastle City Council, added Joe Cook.”
The building is also expected to bring significant economic value to the city. Conservative analysis suggests that an additional 700 employees will boost Newcastle’s daytime and evening economies by close to £2m per year. The build is also expected to support an estimated 400 construction and supply chain jobs during project, bringing around £24m per year to the region.
A key part of the new head office will be to act as a support hub for the city’s voluntary sector. Although the plans are still to be finalised, the goal is to provide spaces which promote enablement, collaboration and innovation in the voluntary sector.
The 22-month development is expected to be completed by early summer 2022.