Virgin Media O2 has announced changes to two of its main offices in the south of England with a multi-million-pound investment to create a new state-of-the-art UK headquarters in Paddington Central.
The investment follows a comprehensive review of its property portfolio which will see existing sites in both Hammersmith and Slough close by the end of next year. Employees will come together across the existing Virgin Media O2 office in Green Park, Reading, and a new office in Paddington, which will open late next year and is the company’s first major new office space since merging in June 2021.
Beyond a very small number of individuals based at the O2 retail store contained within the Slough office, employees will be able to continue with their current role at a new location. The company is not looking to make any reduction in headcount as a result of the Slough office closure which is planned to take place in June.
The telecoms company’s Reading office opened in 2019 and boasts modern facilities and an innovative design and layout. It is just a short train ride from the new location in Paddington, meaning staff will be able to move quickly and easily between the two main sites.
A lease for the new HQ building at Paddington Central’s 3 Sheldon Square has been agreed with developer, British Land, with a bespoke fit out expected to start later this year.
This major investment from Virgin Media O2 will provide future-proof spaces for colleagues to work and collaborate while meeting the evolving needs of the business. It’s being designed to fully support the organisation’s existing flexible working policies, with the latest technology and connectivity being integrated into the office, while also acting as a centrally located, vibrant space where teams can get together in person.
The building, which is currently undergoing a full refurbishment, will also benefit from environmentally friendly technology such as air source heat pumps which are projected to reduce operational energy demand by more than 40%, playing an important role in helping deliver against the organisation’s ESG strategy, the Better Connections Plan.
Patricia Cobian, Virgin Media O2’s Chief Financial Officer said: “While we’re proud of our long history in Slough, with two incredible offices in Reading and London this investment is an important step in our integration plans that will better support our flexible working culture, while bringing the buzz back to the office and creating exciting new opportunities for our people to collaborate.
“Our new fully connected and purpose-built London HQ not only meets the needs of our people, but also our stringent environmental criteria. Ideally situated in an easily accessible and bustling area, and being just a short journey away from our Reading hub, means this new site will give our people and the business the space we need for future success.”
This announcement comes as Virgin Media O2 reports its 2022 financial results – its first full year results since the business was formed on 1 June 2021. The full year figures show customer growth across both fixed and mobile in 2022 with 27,000 fixed net adds and 142,000 Mobile contract net adds, as well as a growing converged customer base with 1.3 million people now taking a Volt bundle.
With £2.1 billion invested in its networks and services throughout 2022, the business’ fixed network now passes 16.1 million premises and has been expanded to reach an additional 519,000 homes in 2022. Alongside this, Virgin Media O2’s 5G connectivity now covers more than 1,600 towns and cities with 4G capacity boosted in 725,000 postcodes.
The company achieved its 2022 guidance, with full year Transaction Adjusted EBITDA, a measure of profitability, increasing by 6.3% year-on-year and revenue flat to the prior year.