BGL Group, one of the UK’s leading Personal Lines insurance groups, has expanded its Peterborough headquarters as the business continues to grow.
The 30,000 sq ft building was officially opened by the Mayor of Peterborough, George Simons and will house the 200 people that make up two of the company’s business divisions – comparethemarket.com and ACM. The building also has space for a further 100 to support future growth requirements.
The new £10 million Saxon House is next to the BGL Group’s existing head office Pegasus House. The company employs 2,400 people and 1,600 are based in Peterborough, making it an important company for the city.
Peter Winslow, Group Chief Executive of the BGL Group, said:
“The BGL Group started out in Peterborough almost 20 years ago with just a handful of staff. We have grown steadily ever since and now have more than 2,400 employees across the Group.
“We’re continuing to expand and are proud to be building our own premises for the first time, to ensure we have the space we will need for the future. It is an attractive building and the design means that the construction had a minimal impact on the local environment.”
Planning permission was granted in April 2011 and construction work began on the project in June 2011. The build was completed in July 2012.
The architect was David Turnock Architects and the main contractor was Watson and Cox.
The office has unique references to the company, for example two floors of the new comparethemarket.com office take inspiration from the successful ‘compare the meerkat’ advertising campaign. This includes murals of Aleksandr Orlov as you enter the third floor office.
ACM, the company’s claims management business, is another successful area of the Group and has also moved in to the new building.
ACM provides an immediate response to claims from customers of the BGL Group’s own insurance brands and those of its partner brands, such as organising courtesy cars or repairs.
Peter Winslow added:
“The BGL Group has grown significantly over the past few years and our new building provides us with the flexibility for further expansion without having to move from our current location.
“We are all extremely proud of our new building and have worked hard to ensure that the design – both inside and out – is attractive and reflects the BGL brand. This is the first time we have owned our own premises and it is a move which further cements our commitment to future growth.”
There are also plans to construct a second building to support the ongoing expansion of the company.
Watson and Cox (Construction) Ltd
Watson and Cox (Construction) Ltd is a Wellingborough-based main contractors in the traditional and design & build construction sectors. It has developed a long established reputation since its formation over 40 years ago, delivering a portfolio of projects in both public and private sectors across a wide range of industries and markets. These include industrial, commercial, retail, education, residential, leisure and healthcare, with values ranging from £250,000 to £6 million.
Darren Wallace, Construction Director, said:
“We were the main contractor for the new BGL Group offices, appointed to initially obtain planning consent and thereafter develop the design and then construct the building from start to finish.
“It was an exciting and interesting project and we were involved right from the inception by BGL to design and build the project to meet specific requirements. However, part way through the design and build process, BGL’s usage requirement for the building slightly changed. Due to our flexible approach, we were able to ensure its contemporary requirements could be delivered without detriment to the project delivery or its performance.
“Originally designed as open-plan office space, the primary challenges were to ensure that the mechanical and electrical services installation was adapted to deliver the required internal environment. The changes part way through the project involved the introduction of significant cellular offices and meeting rooms. Whilst challenging, this was successfully managed and is testament to the efforts and flexible approach of the team involved.
“Our customer-focused approach enables us to fully understand what our clients require from each facility – from the design to the building process. Our strong reputation for delivery has been earned because we finish projects on time and we consistently deliver projects of the highest quality.”