Farnell looks to bright future as global HQ re-opens after multi-million pound redevelopment

07 September 2022

(l-r) Rob Rospedzhowski Farnell President Sales EMEA, Tracy Brabin West Yorkshire Mayor & Chris Breslin Farnell Global President
(l-r) Rob Rospedzhowski Farnell President Sales EMEA, Tracy Brabin West Yorkshire Mayor & Chris Breslin Farnell Global President

500 staff return following £6million of improvement works to make the Leeds, UK global Head Office more sustainable, comfortable & fit for modern ways of working.

Electronic components distributor, Farnell, an Avnet company, has officially re-opened its global Head Office after completing in excess of £6m of improvement works. As a result, up to 500 Farnell employees returning to the premises in Leeds, UK now enjoy facilities with significantly enhanced sustainability credentials, including energy delivered from 100% renewable sources, zero waste going to landfill and space for 40 electric vehicles to be charged on-site per day.

As well as upgraded environmental features throughout, the building now benefits from better lighting, fresh air ventilation and roof insulation, as well as having zonal temperature control ensuring comfortable working conditions all year round. In addition, access throughout the site has been amended to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, including the installation of a brand new lift allowing wheelchair access between floors and new washroom facilities located on each floor.

West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin, Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, Leeds City Council CEO, Tom Riordan and Maxine Smeaton, CEO of Farnell’s longstanding charity partner, Epilepsy Research UK, officially declared the Canal Road office re-open on 6th September 2022. Taking 12 months to complete, the global Head Office has been designed to embrace changes in the ways that employees now work at Farnell, with a mix of full-time office occupation and hybrid remote/home-working.

The building now benefits from flexible functional hubs and collaborative spaces, while an impressive balcony area offers the opportunity to work outside when the Yorkshire weather allows. All meeting rooms are Microsoft Teams compatible, with improved AV equipment, while Wi-Fi and mobile phone coverage has been boosted throughout to give staff and visitors better connectivity throughout the office.

Chris Breslin, Farnell Global President said: “This is a proud day in Farnell’s 84 year history in the UK. The Canal Road refit has seen the business make a multi-million pound investment to bring all of our Head Office colleagues into a space that we can all be proud of.

After what has been a monumental makeover, we have brought our global Head Office back to life to become a workplace which is transformative, modern and meets our new ways of working, while showcasing Farnell as an industry leader and a great place to work.

Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council said: “Farnell’s investment in the redevelopment of its global Head Office is a real vote of confidence for Leeds and I was delighted to see first-hand how the company has gone about transforming the site into a truly 21st century workplace.

Projects such as this, with their emphasis on flexibility, collaboration and sustainability, can only strengthen our city’s credentials as a technology and business powerhouse, where people from all backgrounds have the right environment to make the most of their potential.

Maxine Smeaton, Epilepsy Research UK Chief Executive said: “It’s wonderful to see the investment Farnell has made in re-imagining a future workspace for their team in Leeds, making it an inspiring and enjoyable place to work. The company’s culture of empathy has been the foundation of our partnership over the last twenty years; where the experiences of their team matter, both past and present.

The redevelopment of the Head Office is Farnell’s latest significant investment in Leeds, after the multi-million pound creation in a new distribution centre, built in 2019. Employing over 700 people, the state of the art facility, with floor area measuring 40,000msq, serves Farnell customers across the whole of the EMEA region.

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