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New office for British Gas
11:20am Thursday 8th December 2011 in Commercial Property
Work has started on a new state-of-the-art headquarters building which will become the new home for up to 1,000 British Gas staff.
The multi-million pound 81,000 sq ft development on the Oxford Business Park has been praised for its green technologies which set a new standard for this type of office.
The workers, employed by British Gas Business which has an annual turnover of £3bn serving a range of commercial customers, will move from three existing offices on the park, while bosses will also switch their headquarters from Staines in Middlesex to Oxford.
No jobs are being created directly but bosses have highlighted the availability of quality staff as a major reason for the move.
The official start of construction was marked by a ground breaking ceremony with Oxford’s Lord Mayor Elise Benjamin joining representatives from developer Goodman and British Gas.
Ms Benjamin said: “This building enhances the city’s position as a leading business location and I am confident it will act as a catalyst for attracting further businesses and help drive economic growth in Oxfordshire.
“I welcome British Gas’s extensive use of energy efficient technologies. It’s a great example of the type of buildings we want to see.”
Kier Moss is carrying out the construction work on the building, which is expected to be open for business in March 2013.
It will feature formal and informal meeting and conference facilities, an on-site restaurant with dining for around 200 people, training rooms and an innovation centre showcasing new green technology including ground source heat pumps and solar panels.
While the value of the building has not been revealed, British Gas Business will pay £26m for a 17-year lease of the site.
British Gas Business worker Rory Briggs said: “The new site has given a real boost to employees, as we can now see the vision of the new offices coming to life.”
Jim Johnston, managing director at Goodman, added: “The building will be a leap forward in terms of building and environmental design and we believe will become the benchmark for sustainable office developments for the out-of-town market.” Oxford Business Park now contains 69 companies employing more than 5,500 people. ib