- c. £9M OPEX saving
- Consolidated 5 buildings into 1 HQ location
- Created powerful brand experience throughout
Location: Reading, UK
Size: 120,000 sqft
“My experience of dealing with CBRE Project and Cost Management team has been very positive, the Project team has supported a critical project with programme options and clear reporting”
James Fiddion | Head of Property PM - Virgin Media
Virgin Media promises to “achieve great things”, and is proud of its award-winning broadband TV, mobile and home phone services. Its Project Lightning network investment means 17 million homes and businesses are able to benefit from its ultrafast fibre optic network.
Yet, in 2018, the company’s real estate occupation, which had evolved in sporadic fashion, did not support this vision. Its multiple sites led to fragmentation and silos. In addition, the portfolio was costly to operate due to duplication of services. CBRE was engaged to provide a way forward. Virgin Media’s message is to “build connections that matter”, and this theme underpinned our approach.
The Solution & Result
CBRE’s knowledge of occupier strategies across the region enabled us to identify many options to meet the business need including an off- market opportunity - Green Park, Reading - that suited Virgin Media’s objectives. In particular it represented a strong opportunity to drive the Virgin Media brand, through the ability to infuse the space with the company’s distinctive visual identity. It quickly emerged as the favoured site amongst the shortlist, being ranked according to a series of stretching criteria. With IQVIA poised to exit Green Park, we negotiated a complex series of back-to-back deals that met the needs of all parties.
The next challenge was to manage an ambitious 25-week fitout programme so that Green Park would be able to accommodate up to 1600 Virgin Media staff from day one and meet the lease events and expiries in their previous estate. Our priorities have included
- Implementation of a procurement and tender strategy
- CAT B office fitout with agile workplace settings
- Tight control of the project budget
- Management of the design process, ensuring it embeds Virgin Media’s brand values and promotes enjoyable, collaborative working.
The final product is a “smart building” that contains many brand-aligned, high impact features – for example, an app to highlight available workstations for staff, an immersive, futurist pitch centre with multiple interactive screens, a large atrium that floods the interior with natural light, and a concierge style reception designed to ease the visitor journey – all of which are essential elements of the Virgin Media brand positioning. Importantly, the site represents a c. £9M OPEX saving compared with the previous disparate arrangements.
Virgin Media’s youthful, life-affirming values are also reflected throughout the workplace. The Green Park campus operates with the philosophy that “the equity of the natural environment ... (such as) where we work, eat and play affects how well we function”, and provides access to running tracks, a gym and a multipurpose sport court. In addition, our work on Virgin Media’s site has placed wellness at its core, through a retreat room, and the selection of a prestigious caterer to operate a 190-cover restaurant that promotes healthy eating. Once complete, the Green Park site will be another “great thing” that Virgin Media has achieved.