Amey chooses Colmore Plaza for International Design Hub

03 August 2009
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Amey, one of the UK’s leading public services companies, is forging ahead with plans to open a new International Design Hub in Birmingham, as announced at the MIPIM property show earlier this year, and has selected Colmore Plaza as its preferred location. 

The company, which already has a number of offices in Birmingham, has agreed terms for a ten-year lease on the 4th and 5th floors of the prestigious city centre building, in one of the biggest office deals this year.

The International Design Hub will provide infrastructure design services for central and local government in the UK, as well as clients around the world.

Colmore Plaza is well placed for this type of occupation as one of the biggest office developments in Birmingham, with the highest specification outside London. The 14-storey building is owned by The Carlyle Group and is situated in close proximity to all of the city’s main arterial routes to the rest of the UK.

Announcing the news, Mel Ewell, chief executive of Amey,said: “The decision to establish an International Design Hub in Birmingham represents a significant investment for Amey and demonstrates the company’s long-term commitment to the city and wider West Midlands region.

“The Hub will be a centre of excellence for design consultancy services, serving local, national and international clients, and will enable us to bring together our existing consulting operations under one roof. 

“Having considered a number of buildings in Birmingham to base the Hub, we decided to choose Colmore Plaza due to its central location at the heart of the business district, while still within easy reach of the motorway network and the railway stations, as well as the flexible floorplates and high quality specification of the on-site facilities for staff.

“Amey is excited about what this means for Birmingham and the West Midlands in terms of job creation and supporting Birmingham’s goal to be a truly ‘global city’. We look forward to opening the office later this year.”

According to Amey, more than 750 people could eventually be based in the Design Hub at Colmore Plaza, with the option of taking another floor of the building.

The company employs over 1,000 people in the region, of which 250 work in consulting. These are currently split across a number of offices in the city but will now be consolidated into one location to create a single centre for design consultancy services.

In addition, Amey plans to expand the size of the Hub by creating a further 500 jobs over the next two to three years, following two major contract wins with the Highways Agency.

On 1 July, Amey took over the management of the Highways Agency’s Area 9 contract as the managing agent contractor (MAC).  The role of the MAC is to carry out operational and routine maintenance services and deliver improvements on the motorways and trunk roads in the West Midlands.

Amey will also undertake the role of West Midlands TechMAC, which includes improving the technology systems and equipment on the roads and motorways across the region. Together the two contracts are worth £300 million over the next five years.

Amey announced its intention to open an International Design Hub at MIPIM earlier this year. The firm was at the international property conference in Cannes to support Birmingham City Council.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, said: “This is great news. Amey’s announcement demonstrates that Birmingham is increasingly becoming the city of choice for expansion and relocation by many of the world’s leading corporations.

“The move is more than a vote of confidence in the city; it’s a serious boost for job creation figures in Birmingham and a significant stimulus for our commercial property sector.”

Mark Harris, director and head of UK asset management at The Carlyle Group, said: “This is the second letting at Colmore Plaza that we have announced in the past month, following the recent agreement with Orega. We see this as an indication that, following a noticeable hiatus in letting activity over the past 18 months, many organisations are starting to make decisions regarding their office requirements. 

“We are especially pleased to welcome such a high profile business as Amey, which we see as a great endorsement of both the high specification and ideal location of Colmore Plaza.  We are also encouraged by the amount of interest currently being expressed in the building from other potential tenants and hope to be able to maintain the momentum we have achieved over the past couple of months.”

Joint agents Cushman & Wakefield and GVA Grimley acted on behalf of The Carlyle Group.



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