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See how we built a fantastic new office for the leading North West housing provider



HIGHLIGHTS

  • New flagship home for First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO)

  • Accommodates 450+ employees in 35,000 sq ft of office space
  • FCHO owns and manages Oldham Council's 12,000 social housing
  • Built by local team based in Oldham
  • 56% of budget spent within the town

Our track-record for building HQs was underlined with our successful delivery of a three-storey headquarters on Union Street for First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO), Oldham's major housing provider.

Our work saw the local team create an eye-catching facility with a large central glass atrium to maximize daylight and help ventilation; just one way we have delivered a highly engineered and energy-efficient office that is cheap to run. Further ecological features include a green roof to encourage biodiversity.

The office also provides improved disabled access, a larger reception area for customers, more interview rooms and free access to online services. FCHO chief executive Cath Green :

“Our new state-of-the-art working environment has just made our colleagues’ working days that much better. Combined with improved services and access for customers, the result means colleagues can work for, and with, our customers in a much more effective and efficient way.”

Driving social value

The focus on local spend and people was a key driving force, like on all our projects. We involved a number of apprentices and work experience students on site, employing 10 apprentices and providing four work experience placements for students from Oldham College.

We also donated a lot of materials and time to help restore neighbouring properties including fixing a faulty roof on the building next door to the site. We are especially proud that 56% of the project budget was spent within the Oldham post code!

Fantastic outcome

Designed to offer an enhanced customer experience to tenants, with more private interview rooms, learning zones for practical advice sessions, and a computer hub; the new office provides a better space for staff with flexible meeting and training spaces. We also involved residents and staff in the design process through direct consultation events, and their feedback directly influenced the design decisions.

Council leader Jim McMahon said:

“We’ve long shared their aspirations to have a purpose-built headquarters for FCHO and we are delighted it is a reality. It's a real landmark in our regeneration agenda and has breathed new life into an important town centre site and one that is ideal for FCHO’s customers and employees."

Chairwoman Bernie Callaghan added:

“This fantastic building is something we have wanted for quite some time – it’s such a great place to work in and for our customers to access services."