TalkTalk to move headquarters and hundreds of staff from London to Salford

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Telecoms group TalkTalk is to relocate its headquarters from London to Salford Quays, moving hundreds of staff north and becoming one of the biggest British companies to swap a London HQ in favour of another major city.

The £1.7bn-turnover company is to downgrade its London headquarters to a satellite office as part of a strategy to simplify its operations.

Its new HQ will be the Soapworks development in Salford Quays, where around 1,500 of its staff are already based after moving into the 106,000 sq ft, five-floor building last year.

The former Palmolive/Colgate building on the banks of River Irwell features mobile meeting hubs made from clear writeable glass, an industrial-inspired café with views of the Manchester skyline, a roof terrace and picnic heath.

TalkTalk said the success of its Soapworks site in Salford had "exceeded expectations, improving collaboration between teams, supporting a more flexible working environment and enabling the company to attract and retain the best talent". 

Inside TalkTalk's new Salford Quays HQ

TalkTalk currently employs around 500 staff in the capital and the majority of them would be required to relocate under the plans. The firm said it would also create new posts, in part through the expansion of its graduate and apprenticeship programmes.

TalkTalk chief executive Tristia Harrison said: "We've always had a base in the North West, but we want to build on that heritage and create a world-class campus for the whole business.

"As with any change, we are committed to supporting all of our colleagues during this transition period.

"Bringing all of our teams together will make us a simpler business, where it's easier for teams to work together and deliver the very best service for customers."

The relocation news was announced at the same time as the company's interim results, for the six months to the end of September 2018, with headline revenue up 3.9% to £771m and EBITDA up 34.7% to £101m.

Harrison added: “This has been a strong first half for TalkTalk, with continued broadband base growth and further progress as we become a simpler, more efficient business."

TalkTalk chief executive Tristia Harrison

TalkTalk was founded in 2003 by Sir Charles Dunstone as a subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse and became a company in its own right in 2010. Dunstone is still the majority shareholder with 28.5%.

The wholesale arrival of the FTSE 250 company marks another major boost for the North in a year marked by significant moves with the creative and digital sector.

Last month, tech giant Amazon confirmed it would be setting up base at Hanover House in Manchester, hiring 600 tech, digital and R&D roles.

Others, including The Hut Group, Booking.com and Moonpig, have recently invested heavily in new Manchester operations, and there are strong rumours that at least one other global tech brand is poised to open in the city.

And Leeds recently won the bid to be the new regional headquarters of Channel Four, with UKTV since confirming it will be opening an office in the city too.