Specsavers - UK Shared Services Centre
Specsavers is the world's largest privately owned optical group with more than 1,300 stores in nine countries. Optometrists Doug and Dame Mary Perkins founded Specsavers in the spare bedroom of their Guernsey home in 1984. They still run the company with their family today from a 90,000 sq. ft. office in Guernsey.
As a result of the optical chain's planned growth across the UK, Europe and Australia, Specsavers needed to open a Shared Service Centre to provide additional support services to stores.
Buck Consultants were appointed by Specsavers to assist them in choosing the right location for the Shared Service Centre. Buck Consultants first approached the Invest in Nottingham team in October 2007 to investigate the city's suitability. Invest in Nottingham was able to provide a wealth of information including economic data, labour pool analysis, employment costs, regeneration in the city and business support services.
The Invest in Nottingham team also hosted a visit from Specsavers and was able to introduce the company to existing employers in the city including Capital One. It also provided detailed information on recruitment and training support and introduced Specsavers to recruitment agencies including Select Recruitment, Hot Prospects and Harper Resourcing to ensure the company was confident in the ability to recruit the right workforce locally.
Largest property deal in Nottingham since 2006
Following a six-month selection process, Nottingham came out on top as the best location over European cities Bratislava and Seville, and Manchester and Birmingham closer to home. Nottingham was deemed to have more suitable infrastructure and be in a better location. Represented by local estate agents HEB, Specsavers subsequently secured the letting of the 34,000 sq ft Cirrus building at ng2 Business Park on the outskirts on the City Centre. It became the largest property deal in Nottingham since 2006.
The offices at ng2 Business Park offered the ability to co-locate the group's existing workforce from Wilford with additional finance staff to be based in new premises in central Nottingham.
Hugo Lord, Director of Property Services at Specsavers says: 'This acquisition will help Specsavers to meet the growing demands of our business, not only in the UK but internationally. The building provides space to expand our existing call centre facility, currently based at Wilford Industrial Estate. Cirrus is a modern, self-contained building of great quality with excellent infrastructure and public transport services.'
Following the announcement of the opening of the UK Shared Services Centre, Nottingham City Council hosted a welcome dinner for Dame Mary Perkins and the Specsavers team, introducing the company to the key business influencers in the city to help ensure an easy transition into the business community.
The support to Specsavers has continued with assistance on recruitment, staff relocation and ongoing investor development services offered through the Invest in Nottingham team.
Specsavers Optical Group's finance director Karen Dicks says: 'The support we have had from the Invest in Nottingham team has been second to none. We have been supported along the way by the team and feel confident they will help us with our future growth in the city. The welcome we had from Nottingham City Council was very much appreciated as it showed us how joined up the city is in terms of creating an excellent business environment'.
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