News : Fresh Job Hopes as AA Seals Deal to Expand at Oldbury
Oldbury, UK, July 24, 2017 -- The Automobile Association has committed to another 10 years at Swallowfield One, on the Birchley Island, and is expanding to take on all 111,000 sq ft of the building to create what it calls 'a centre of excellence'.
The AA currently employs around 600 at Swallowfield One and said its expansion would "hopefully lead to further job creation in the local area".
It is centre of the AA’s road operations and is home to its main call centre and offices.
Up until last year the AA shared the building with British Gas-owner Centrica, which employed 645 people there, but the energy company shut down its offices last year as part of cost-cutting moves. British Gas said in January it had found jobs elsewhere for 420 of the former Oldbury staff.
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The lease consultancy team from the Midlands office of property adviser GVA sealed the lease extension deal with the AA to take on the other half of the building as part of its new 10-year agreement.
Jon Ellis, head of property and facilities at the AA, said: "We’ve been working with GVA for some time at a number of our properties and we’re exceedingly pleased with the negotiations that they’ve completed for us at Oldbury.
"This location is already home to our main call centre with a great location close to the national motorway network.
"The increase in parking provision and new office areas mean that we can now fulfil our ambition to create a centre of excellence here, hopefully leading to further job creation in the local area."
Chris Norcup, director with GVA’s lease consultancy team, said: "Centrica’s departure presented the AA with an opportunity to review its operation and consider its long-term plans.
"The decision to remain in the building, coupled with the commitment to expand into the full 110,000 sq ft, provides some fantastic opportunities for the business to develop its operations while providing additional local employment opportunities."
Swallowfield One was developed by Centrica as a joint base for British Gas and the AA nearly 14 years ago, using the former 10-acre Birchley playing fields at one time used by pupils from the Britannia and Warley high schools.
At the time the AA was based at offices in Halesowen.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Automobile Association:
The Automobile Association (The AA) is a British motoring association founded in 1905, which was demutualised in 1999 to become a private limited company which currently provides car insurance, driving lessons, breakdown cover, loans, motoring advice and other services. Following demutualisation the AA Motoring Trust was created in 2002 to continue its public interest and road safety activities. In 2007 the AA merged with Saga Group to form Acromas Holdings. Acromas listed The AA on the London Stock Exchange in 2014.
Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017