Birmingham City Council

Delivering Transformational Estate and Workplace Management

The Challenge

Chris Bray worked as Programme Manager for Birmingham City Council’s successful Central Administration Buildings (CAB) initiative as part of the wider Working for the Future (WFTF) transformation programme.

Working for Telereal Trillium in partnership with the Council’s property team and Service Birmingham, Chris implemented changes which saw the consolidation of Council’s CAB portfolio, generating significant financial savings and operational improvements for the Council.

Birmingham City Council with more than 120 council members, representing over one million people across 40 wards and managing an annual spend of c. £3.5bn, is the largest local authority in Europe.

The Council had a large, disjointed property portfolio which was scattered across the city having been acquired organically over time. The estate was managed and ‘owned’ by occupying Directorates, and certain parts were outdated, underutilised, poorly maintained and expensive to run due to a range of underlying issues including:

  • 78 separate buildings, totalling 1.3M sq ft accommodating c. 10,000 back-office staff
  • Poor quality and inflexible accommodation provision
  • More desks than people
  • Inconsistency in accommodation and service standards
  • Dated technology constraining staff working requirements
  • Absence of integration between people, place and technology
  • Period of austerity

The council recognised that it needed to significantly re-define its estate strategy and re-model the CAB portfolio to address increasing budget and service pressures


The Solution

The goal was to deliver a modern, flexible, efficient and cost effective workplace for staff, facilitating new working practices, improved service delivery and acting as a catalyst for cultural change.

The team worked in partnership on the end to end rationalisation of office accommodation, and with Council Directorates, Suppliers and Staff to implement new ways of working for staff through changes to people, place and technology.

The Results

An immediate and sustained impact on the business:

  • 7 new / refurbished office buildings, totalling c. 600k sq ft
  • High quality, consistent and flexible workspaces to meet business needs
  • Agility Levels at 30% (10 staff to 7 desks)
  • Property Running Cost reductions of c30%
  • Significant capital receipts generated
  • Introduction of cultural change to people in parallel with improvements to place and technology
  • Net financial savings of £100 Million to the public purse
  • Award winning buildings
  • Wider benefits to Directorates, staff and citizens
  • Central Government endorsement

“The challenge of delivering a centrally managed ‘back-office’ estate – driven by service requirements yet providing a strategic corporate asset – is a daunting task for any organisation. I urge you to make a bold decision and embark on a similar programme to the one that has been so successful for us in Birmingham.”

Peter Jones

Director of Property, Birmingham City Council

Your needs?

If you would like to know more about EWP, if you are currently facing workplace related challenges or contemplating a radical workplace change then please contact us.

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