One of the Europe’s largest construction and development companies has opened a new office in the heart of Birmingham’s business district as it looks for new opportunities in the region.
Skanska, which recently completed the new Manor Hospital in Walsall, has taken 3,600 sq ft at 10 Colmore Row – bringing 35 staff to the city.
Paul Chandler, executive vice-president of the multi-national, said the company had long done business in the West Midlands but had never enjoyed a permanent presence.
He said: “We’ve been in the region for around eight years building but part of out five-year strategy is that we need to increase our regional presence across the UK and we have done our homework and we felt that Birmingham was worth our presence and our investment.
‘‘We feel there are huge opportunities for the region and we like the Big City Plan. Birmingham has taken a long hard look at itself and believes it can be better and we think we can be part of that.
‘‘We want to do more in and around Birmingham and having a full time presence in the city will help us to build relationships and you have to have a presence to be a key player and to show you are in for the long haul.
“We think this is a brave move for us because it is a tough market but this gives us time to build relationships. It will be tough in the short term but with the proper investment of time and effort, we believe we will prosper.”
Wouter Schuitemaker, investment director at Business Birmingham, said: “Business Birmingham has worked closely with Skanska to help the business identify the immediate and long-term opportunities having a base in Birmingham could offer.
‘‘Skanska’s decision to locate in Birmingham will not go unnoticed by its suppliers and the wider property sector and will send a clear message that the city has the opportunities, investment and business attributes needed to help companies in this area to grow.”
Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby, added: “Skanska’s decision to open an office in Birmingham is testimony to the city’s drive to provide the property industry with clarity on the opportunities available for development over the next 20 years, through its Big City Plan.”