Virgin Media Inaugurates Reading HQ
The design concept for the 120,000 square foot office was led by creative agency Dalziel & Pow in collaboration with architects Sheppard Robson and fit-out specialists Overbury. and creates an area roughly the size of 160 average sized UK homes with accommodation for 1,200 desks, breakout areas, meeting rooms, and a staff restaurant and separate barista coffee shop.
The state-of-the-art office boasts an innovative design with spaces that encourage team-work and collaboration, quiet areas for reflection and playful ‘Virgin’ features such as a super-sized glitter ball in the restaurant.
Significant investment has gone into setting high sustainability standards for the Brook Drive site. With smart energy-efficient lighting throughout, the site is home to 10 electric vehicle charging stations and all of the building’s electricity comes from 100% renewable sources. Staff are being encouraged to travel to work sustainably by bike, public transport or by arranging lift shares.
New measures are being put in place to dramatically reduce the amount of single-use plastic consumed in the building. When rolled out in the New Year across the wider Virgin Media estate, this could mean up to three million fewer single-use plastic items are used every year.
Virgin Media has worked with leading accessibility consultants to ensure accessibility principles were embedded into the building. From signage, colour scheme and furniture styles to step-free access and hearing loops in key spaces, accessibility was a priority for the project.
Bill Castell, Acting Chief Financial Officer at Virgin Media, says:
"We’ve invested millions of pounds in our new HQ to create a state-of-the-art office and bring more than a thousand jobs to Reading.
"This comes on top of our recent investment to bring the fastest gigabit broadband speeds to residents across Reading, something we’ll deliver across our entire network by the end of 2021.
"This new site provides our people with a next-generation work environment to inspire creativity and help Virgin Media to keep growing and give our customers cutting-edge products and services."
The site is powered by Virgin Media’s hyperfast connectivity with more than 150 miles of data cables spanning the entire building, and follows the ground-breaking introduction of the UK’s fastest gigabit home broadband service in Reading and towns across Berkshire, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire last week.
According to Virgin Media, the new Gig1 service offers connectivity 25 times faster than Reading’s average broadband speed (based on the city's median download speed of 40 Mbps in a December 2018 Ofcom "Connected Nations Report"), and was launched as part of Virgin Media’s plan to bring gigabit speeds to nearly 15 million homes by the end of 2021.