Finance

Virgin Money announces property closures in switch to flexible working


Virgin Money has announced major changes to its office estate as it adapts to new ways of working.

The bank will shut six of the eight buildings it has in Gosforth, Newcastle, and wind down some of its existing properties in Glasgow.

But it is also investing in its remaining properties in Gosforth and Leeds and has announced a new, purpose-built office at Bothwell Street in Glasgow that it has says will be the city’s largest, most environmentally friendly building once it is completed in 2023.

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The moves to reduce office space come as Virgin Money allows most of its staff to work for the majority of their working weeks at home. The strategy – which does not affect job numbers – was first outlined in broad terms in September, with the details of the properties affected now released to staff.

In Glasgow, the company’s use of Guildhall at Queen Street and offices at St Vincent Place and West George Street will reduce, though they will provide space for staff ahead of the move to Bothwell Street. Granite House, which previously accommodated the bank’s PPI remediation team, was closed at the start of the pandemic and will not reopen.

In Newcastle, six of the eight former Northern Rock buildings at Jubilee House will be close, with the remaining two refitted to enable greater collaborative working there. The bank’s offices at Leeds Briggate will be upgraded, while space will also be made available to branches in the surrounding area.

Virgin Money last week launched a new employee package called A Life More Virgin which includes moves to support flexible working.

Under the plan, the majority of its staff will be able to work remotely for most of their working week and will only go to offices for meetings and other collaborative sessions.

Fraser Ingram, chief digital and innovation officer at Virgin Money, said: “With ‘A Life More Virgin’, our colleagues have much more flexibility to choose how and where they work.

“To support this, we will ensure we offer modern, vibrant and collaborative hubs in our key locations, striking the right balance between creating spaces to support the needs of our colleagues, cost efficiency and our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.”

Virgin Money said it would be working with staff to ensure the final design of its new offices meets their needs.

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