Santander has today begun construction on its state-of-the-art new campus in Milton Keynes, as Chief Executive Nathan Bostock, alongside Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South, took part in a ground-breaking ceremony at the new site.
The new office, which represents an investment of over £150m in the town, will be home to over 6,000 employees and will bring together staff from the bank’s existing local office buildings into one location. The world-class working environment will be a modern workspace designed to encourage collaboration and offer a range of facilities to support health and wellbeing.
The new head office site is due to open by the Autumn of 2022 and follows Santander’s recent £30m investment in MK:U, the UK’s first university focused on digital skills, which is due to open a year later in 2023.
The building will be known as ‘Unity Place’ following a staff competition, chosen for the way it represents the bringing together of people from local businesses, Santander employees and the wider Milton Keynes community.
Nathan Bostock, Chief Executive, Santander UK, said: “We’re very excited to be starting work on Unity Place, a major investment in Milton Keynes, reflecting our long-term commitment to the local area. Milton Keynes is already one the UK’s leading technology centres and with a number of innovative education and training providers on our doorstep, we hope it will be a real magnet for technology talent.
“Once complete, the campus will be a state-of-the-art workplace which reflects our culture and our vision for the future. It will be a world-class home for Santander which both our colleagues and the local community can take pride in.”
Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South said: “This investment is a huge vote of confidence in MK and will keep us at the heart of technology and innovation. I look forward to working with Santander to see this exciting project delivered.”
Leader of MK Council, Pete Marland said: “We’re delighted that Santander’s innovative plans are coming to life, which will see yet another major international business bring its central headquarters to Milton Keynes.
“The new HQ will complement our ambitious proposals for Central MK - including our world-class university MK:U, pioneering work and leisure spaces, and new affordable homes.”
Features of the planned new office include:
An open ground floor with world class facilities available to members of public. These include: Bookable townhall space for community, education and wider Santander employees events;
Flexible collaboration space that will be offered to local businesses and community organisations including an ‘Urban Market’ providing a variety of food and drink;
A Santander bank branch combining traditional banking facilities with modern, digital services.
A range of health facilities including a fitness centre, cycle storage, and an employee rooftop walking and running track;
Parking for over 900 cars and an additional 560 secure cycle parking spaces located on the ground floor and basement levels; and
The office is an environmentally sustainable building designed to achieve BREAM Excellent and WELL ‘Gold’ Certification, a measure of the building’s impact on health and wellbeing of its occupants.
In addition, the day-to-day operation of the building will be supported by a dedicated ‘campus app’, allowing users to book and manage facilities, keep up to date with upcoming events and for the community to engage with the building.
Planning permission for the new campus was granted by Milton Keynes Council last year following consultation with the Local Authority, employees and community groups.