KPMG has completed a deal to take the remaining space in the Broad Gate building in Leeds city center in a significant investment that will see the firm create over 200 roles in a national Innovation and Solutions Centre.
KPMG has selected Leeds for the investment due to the availability of a skilled population, with the graduate and undergraduate talent pool from the city’s universities providing a specific pull. Leeds, and Broad Gate in particular, also delivered on KPMG’s requirement for high quality, flexible space with strong public transport links.
The 28,500 ft², that KPMG has taken on a ten year lease, will be fitted out during the remainder of 2013, with operations beginning in January. The roles will be created to enable KPMG to assist clients with major transformation opportunities and challenges.
The first of the solutions to be offered from the Broad Gate space will be a Customer Relationship Centre. This will provide a flexible resource, in terms of both people and technology, which can be quickly mobilized to help clients when they need to react to change in their business or sector.
This will be followed by other responses, including a high tech client collaboration suite which will be developed during the spring as a way for KPMG to share technology insights and trial new solutions with, and on behalf of, clients. This suite is to be part of a national KPMG program of investment in technology innovation centers in the UK, including its ‘start-up hub’ in London’s Tech City which opened last year.
Chris Hearld, KPMG’s Leeds Office Senior Partner, said: “Our investment in this national operation underlines KPMG’s belief in and commitment to Leeds as an excellent base from which to do business. There are more than 800 people working in our existing Leeds office so we have every confidence that the city supplies top quality employees and the infrastructure that business needs, from transport to social.
“This investment builds on the customer relationship work that we have been successfully delivering from within our Leeds office on behalf of clients for the last couple of years, and reflects growth in this part of our business.
“The KPMG Leeds partner group regularly bang the drum for Yorkshire during our travels so we are delighted to have been able to influence a national investment decision to the benefit of the region. This announcement is in addition, of course, to our new 61,000 ft² Leeds office development, which we’ll move into in 2015.”
Richard Pellatt, Investment Director at Highcross, said: “This hugely significant letting to KPMG sees Broad Gate now fully let, following deals earlier this year to Yorkshire Building Society and Capgemini. Testament to Broad Gate’s outstanding quality in terms of finish, facilities and excellent location in the heart of the city centers, we have now transacted over 130,000 ft² of new lettings in the building during 2013.”
Elizabeth Riddler from Knight Frank said: ‘’Broad Gate is the perfect fit for KPMG and Knight Frank were delighted to be able to help with this significant deal. KPMG needed state-of-the-art, energy efficient offices on a single floor in the center of Leeds and the last remaining suite of 28,000 ft² at Broad Gate was the perfect fit. This deal underlines that the office market in the city, which was understandably quiet during the recent recession, is now starting to flourish again, albeit there is now an acute shortage of Grade A product.”