January 19, 2016
Gensler Office Opening Backs Birmingham’s Regeneration
BIRMINGHAM, England — Gensler has launched a new office in Birmingham – its first U.K. office outside of London. The global firm is investing in Birmingham’s growing design and creative hub as it eyes the potential for regeneration and leading development opportunities across the United Kingdom.
The headquarters for Gensler’s U.K. regional activity, Gensler’s new Birmingham office is located in The Custard Factory in the Digbeth area of Birmingham City Centre. Its arrival follows the emergence of ambitious and creative clusters in the city, underpinned by Birmingham’s strategic position as a launch pad for the U.K.’s manufacturing renaissance. The office is led by Alistair Cory, who draws on more than 25 years of experience to develop the company’s presence in the Midlands and U.K. regions.
“Locating our regional headquarters in Birmingham was a deliberate decision,” said Cory. “As the U.K. wakes up to devolution, the new office will engage with a city on the cusp of a resurgence. Growth potential is huge, regeneration is well underway, and the U.K. has one of the fastest growing economies in the G7. The Custard Factory lends vibrancy and creativity amidst a melting pot of entrepreneurialism and commerce, providing a platform from which to deliver unparalleled architecture, design and consultation, and to diversify into new industries.”
The new office has ambitious plans for growth and recruitment, with Birmingham’s strong design talent pool as one of the key factors attracting Gensler to the area.
“Above all, we plan to foster the array of local talent by partnering with local businesses and universities, as well as reversing migration and attracting key talent from across the U.K.’s thriving cities – including the capital,” Cory said. “We have a robust strategy in place to help us grow significantly over the next five years, strengthening our commitment to the city and helping to shape its future.”
Gensler’s office opening was officially marked by the first in a series of seminars. These discussions will explore how Birmingham’s Custard Factory can grow sustainably in a “maker economy.” Panellists included leaders from across the West Midlands, including: Lucan Gray, owner and creator of The Custard Factory; Louise Brooke-Smith, managing director of Brooke Smith Planning; Nicola Fleet-Milne, business development director, FleetMilne Property; Simon Delahunty, manager of the City Design and Conservation Team at Birmingham City Council; and Robert Groves, senior project director, Argent Services LLP.
“The arrival of Gensler’s regional headquarters in Birmingham is a landmark moment for the city, its business community, and the architecture, construction and infrastructure industries, too,” said Louise Brooke-Smith, director of long-established Birmingham based planning consultancy Brooke Smith Planning. “It is a testament to the work and development achieved in Birmingham up to this point that the City has attracted a global company like Gensler. My practice looks forward to working with the Gensler team closely, as the local economy goes from strength to strength, and we foster yet more talent from the West Midlands pool.”
The new office is already pursuing projects in both the public and private sectors in industries with which the region is renowned, including aerospace technology, automotive and manufacturing, financial services and game design.
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