Kingston Council welcomed the news that Unilever is relocating their UK headquarters to the town bringing with it a huge boost to the local economy.
The British-Dutch consumer goods giant which owns over 400 food, cleaning and personal care brands is proposing to move teams from five offices across the south east into the Surrey House site in the centre of Kingston.
The Leader of Kingston Council Caroline Kerr recently commented:
“We are delighted that Unilever has chosen Kingston to become the heart of its UK operations. It is testament to the opportunity and potential this international business can see in our borough.
“The company’s commitment to Kingston will bring jobs into our community and money into the high street. As we look to navigate the serious financial challenges we are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a fantastic boost to our local economy and a strong signal that Kingston is open for business.”
A planning application for the Surrey House site is expected to be submitted later in the year. It is understood that the developers plans include two interconnected office buildings, as well as new homes, a significant number of which will be affordable. The application will go through the planning process and residents will be given the opportunity to comment and play an active part in the process at every stage.
Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive of Kingston First, said:
“This is excellent news for Kingston, and Kingston town centre in particular. Unilever has been part of Kingston’s business community for many years and their investment emphasises the strength of the town’s offer for employers and their employees. We are very much looking forward to seeing their plans evolve.”
As for Unilever, this all part of a wider plan for their property portfolio and has wider implications for the property sector as many corporates start to review their office locations post COVID-19.
Unilever said:“Should this proposal go ahead, we will create a modern ‘Unilever campus’, a collaborative workplace which reflects today’s ways of working, with high sustainability standards, situated close to consumers and retailers in the busy shopping town of Kingston, where Unilever has had an office for many years.”
The firm’s statement added: “It also makes good financial sense to bring five separate offices together into one. “
The story was originally reported in the property web site Co-Star.
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