Seaham company announces £3m investment and job creation plans

Aug 18, 2020 | Business

A North East company has made a multimillion-pound investment to quadruple its office space and create hundreds of new jobs.

Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) has agreed a lease on a new building on Spectrum Business Park, Seaham, taking its total office space to 80,000 square feet.

The firm’s investment in the expansion will exceed three million pounds.

The business cost saving specialist has been on a rapid growth journey since its inception in 2012, reaching 300 employees at the start of 2020 and recruiting 150 staff in the last 14 months.

After a 2015 move into the ground floor of Spectrum 6, the Group is now becoming one of the region’s largest employers by adding a second floor to Spectrum 6 and taking on the whole of Spectrum 7.

The space available will provide GAS with the capacity to employ more than 1,000 people in a Covid-compliant, socially-distant working environment.  The fit-out is now underway and the plan is for the business to move into the building at the end of 2020.

Brad Groves, Chief Executive of GAS, has indicated the Group’s plans to create more than just an office for colleagues.

He said: “Our new headquarters in Spectrum 7 will be one of the finest office facilities outside of London and Manchester.  We are committing a multimillion-pound investment to create an innovative building focused on employee experience and wellbeing.

“That means more than just the latest furniture, technology and equipment.  We are weaving major new benefits into the build, which will incorporate health and wellbeing facilities; a state-of-the-art catering facility; a fully-subsidised gym, studio and changing facility; an arcade; an e-gaming zone; zen rooms; speciality training and development suites and more.

“We have now recruited a Group Health and Wellbeing Manager, who will be building a skilled team to focus on the physical wellbeing elements of this.

“Additionally, we will be recruiting a market-leading team to re-develop our benefits and incentives.  Their sole responsibility will be to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for colleagues and take our work-life balance to new heights through incentives, benefits and travel.

“The second floor we have taken at Spectrum 6 is initially to allow our staff to return to the working environment in a safe way.  It gives us more room to maintain a social distance and reduces demand for facilities such as toilets and kitchens.  We have invested further to go above and beyond the government’s workplace guidelines for safety and are only bringing staff back into the workplace when the time is right.”

Paul Wellstead, Developer of Spectrum Business Park, said: “Hot on the heels of what was Spectrum’s biggest ever letting a few months ago to Believe Housing, the new letting of Spectrum 7 to Great Annual Savings is bigger still.

“This continues the significant momentum Spectrum is achieving in the North East office market.  One of the key factors for our occupiers is providing the very best in workplace environments for their colleagues.

“Occupiers understand that their staff are the number one asset to the business and providing them with a well-connected, inspirational workplace is at the top of their list of requirements.

“Spectrum’s stunning setting on the County Durham coast, along with the fantastic facilities and transport connectivity, make it an unbeatable destination for dedicated employees.

“Great Annual Savings has demonstrated its commitment to rewarding and cherishing its employees since the company first arrived at Spectrum in 2015.  Their new HQ will take this to the next level.

“The fit-out is being provided by Ultimate Commercial Interiors Ltd, who have already delivered stunning office environments for Northumbrian Water and Believe Housing, the latter of which is nominated in this year’s North East Property Awards

“GAS is now the biggest employer in Seaham and has played a fundamental role in the area’s regeneration.  Many of the Group’s colleagues have moved into the area and they have fully embraced their surroundings.  The company will be key to Seaham’s continued progress.

“I am incredibly excited to see yet another new benchmark being set by Great Annual Savings.”

Mr Groves continued: “Our total office space will allow us to grow to more than 1,000 people.  We recently announced that we will be more than doubling in size, whether that is in our new headquarters or around the country in our field-sales division.  Recruitment processes for these posts have now begun.

“At a time like this, businesses will be looking to reduce their outgoings across the board and become more efficient.  This makes GAS’ services more important than ever and we need more colleagues to deliver these services to as many customers as possible.”

GAS helps businesses to reduce their variable costs in energy, water, telecoms, merchant services, insurance and more.  It has more than 10,000 customers across the UK and Ireland and employs people across the UK.