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24th June, 2022 |

5 minute read time

New space to disrupt traditional thinking

Steve Heywood, media manager

The keys to one of Newcastle’s most different workspaces have been handed over to its new occupiers.

One Strawberry Lane, which will be the new head office for Home Group, is expected to disrupt traditional thinking on office design and culture.

The city’s business leaders and politicians were given a glimpse of what’s to come when the new space, in the St James area of the city, opens in the autumn.

Not only is the building one of the first offices in the UK to be specifically designed for the new hybrid ways of working, it’s one of only 80 buildings across the world working towards SmartScore – the latest smart accreditation for modern buildings.

But a key feature for One Strawberry Lane is its focus on promoting and supporting collaboration amongst its users.

It will act as a central hub in support of the city’s voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE). Home Group’s first tenant, announced this week, is Connected Voice, which supports the Newcastle and Gateshead VCSE sector.

Their 750 members will reap a range of benefits, including use of space to start-up or grow; business development support; training and development, as well as funding advice and support.

Its members, along with non-affiliated VCSE organisations, will be invited to join One Strawberry Lane VCSE community – a physical interactive space that brings groups closer together to share best practice and support one another.

Sharing best practice and collaboration will also be the focus for the like-minded businesses One Strawberry Lane aims to attract to its commercial space.

Mark Henderson, Chief Executive of Home Group, said: “This is a building like no other presently in the city. We are proud to be leading the way for things like SmartScore certification and to deliver the first purpose built workspace for hybrid working.

“But, for me, what sets One Strawberry Lane apart above all else is the fact it will be integrated into its environment, working to support and interact with the city’s organisations, businesses and communities.

“Home Group has been rooted in the North-East for close to 90 years. We know this region, we know this city and we know its communities. Having a building that works for all was vitally important to us.”

Home Group, one of the UK’s largest housing organisations, will move around 700 of its 3,200 staff from its two sites in North Tyneside to its new head office late autumn.

One Strawberry Lane was developed by Ask Real Estate and built by BAM Construction. BAM this week handed the keys to Home Group. Over the next few months the internal fit out of the building will be carried out by Overbury.

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