EY has signed an agreement to occupy a further three floors at the CityGate office complex on St James Boulevard in Newcastle, taking the total size of the professional service firm’s North East base to 65,200 sq ft over eight floors across two buildings.
The firm – which in October announced that its headcount in the city had reached 500 following a period of accelerated growth – has taken 22,950 sq ft of new space in 1 CityGate East, which is adjacent to EY’s existing base at 2 CityGate. In addition, EY will fully refurbish two existing floors at 2 CityGate.
The new space will help to accommodate EY’s workforce and the new people the firm plans to hire as it continues to grow over the coming years.
This latest investment, which is one of the largest property transactions in Newcastle in the last 12 months, follows a similar investment in October 2014, when EY took on an additional 11,143 sq ft at 2 CityGate – illustrating the pace at which the firm has grown in Newcastle in recent years.
Mark Hatton, Senior Partner at EY in the North East, said: “This latest significant investment in the North East reflects our ongoing commitment to delivering growth here in the region, as well as our belief that it is a great place to do business and recruit some of the best professional services talent.”
Cording Real Estate Group, which agreed the investment with EY, provides investment management services to the landlord of 1 CityGate East, Britannia Invest, an investment company for Danish pension funds. Cording was advised by Lambert Smith Hampton and EY was advised by Cushman & Wakefield.
EY’s expansion in Newcastle has been driven by the continued growth of all of its service lines, including Assurance, Advisory, Tax and Transaction Services. Growth has been particularly marked in the firm’s Government & Public Sector team (GPS), Financial Services Advisory practice and Personal Tax Centre in the North East.
Hatton continued: “This investment will help to accommodate growth in all of our service lines.”
Investment in EY’s new GPS practice in the regions – which is going from strength to strength, helping local public sector organisations prepare for new delivery models – has been led by a raft of senior appointments.
These have included Director David Smith to head up the GPS Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) practice, as well as Executive Director Nicola Wright and Senior Manager Claire Mellons in GPS Assurance.
EY’s Financial Services Advisory practice supports financial institutions with advice on matters such as anti-money laundering, regulatory compliance, reporting solutions and legal entity management.
Michael Scoular, Partner in EY’s FS Advisory Services practice, commented: “We’ve enjoyed stellar expansion over the last few years – responding to the requirements of our growing list of clients, who are financial institutions based throughout the UK and overseas.
“This new space will allow us to continue our growth trajectory, whilst providing our people, as well as the new people we plan to hire, with a first-class office environment where they can really develop.”
Meanwhile, EY’s Personal Tax Centre (PTC) provides tax compliance and tax advisory services for financial institutions and their customers and is enjoying continuing growth.
Trevor Sherlock, Partner and Head of the PTC, said: “The PTC is now the market leader in personal tax compliance and personal tax advice to financial institutions and their customers.
“We have continued to improve and innovate in the way we support our clients, and this latest stage of expansion will enable us to invest further in bringing in some of the UK’s best private client professionals to support our continued growth.”