July 13, 2020

Building begins on showpiece head office for UK safety leader Arco

Construction has begun on a prestigious new head office for Arco, the UK’s leading safety business.

The development is one of the biggest and most prestigious head office schemes currently taking place across the North of England.

The £16m development will secure the company’s future in Hull and providing a platform for further growth for one of the city’s leading employers.

The start of building work also marks a major milestone in the £80m rejuvenation of the waterfront Fruit Market area, which is being transformed in one of the North’s most significant urban regeneration projects.

The Arco building will be the largest new-build office development for a dedicated user in the Hull area since the late 1960s. It has been supported with a grant of £1m from the Humber’s Local Growth Fund allocation through the Humber LEP’s Growing the Humber programme of business investment grants. 

The construction project will also include a 350-space multi-storey car park, offering contract and pay and display spaces, to support Arco and its colleagues and the continued growth of the area as a magnet for business investment and visitors.

The scheme marks the latest major chapter in the exciting rejuvenationof the waterfront district being led by Wykeland Beal, the regeneration company formed by commercial developer Wykeland Group and housebuilder Beal Homes, as part of the Fruit Market LLP joint venture with Hull City Council.

Wykeland Beal has worked closely with Arco to develop the scheme and enable the company to relocate from its existing head office in Waverley Street, Hull, which has been purchased by Hull City Council to support regeneration and investment in the city centre.

Dominic Gibbons, Managing Director of Wykeland Group, said: “This development is enormously significant for Hull and the wider region.

“There hasn’t been a new office building of this size in Hull for a single user for more than 50 years and the development will see a showpiece facility of exceptional quality and prestige occupying a key, strategic site. The new multi-storey car park is also much needed to support Arco and its staff and the Fruit Market community.

“We’re delighted one of the city’s most successful and respected businesses has chosen the Fruit Market for the next chapter in its rich history.”

The new head office will see family-owned Arco return to its roots in the Fruit Market where the business opened its first shop in Queen Street, just yards from the development site, in 1893. 

Hessle-based PDR Construction is the principal contractor for the project, which is due to be completed by the end of 2020, enabling around 550 Arco staff to move into their new home.

(L-R) Dominic Gibbons of Wykeland Group, Arco’s David Evison and Richard Beal of Beal Homes, with the Fruit Market site in the background

David Evison, Managing Director of Arco, said: “This is a significant step forward for Arco, as we continue to invest in the growth of the business. The new head office will provide us with the facilities and the work environment to meet our needs into the future.  

“We’ve taken this opportunity to create a modern workplace that has been designed to ensure our colleagues thrive and new talent emerges. Features such as open plan, collaborative workspaces, social meeting areas, a glass fronted atrium and an auditorium for colleague presentations will boost our company culture and drive employee engagement.

“We’re particularly pleased that our new head office will support the regeneration of Hull’s Fruit Market, to ensure the city remains vibrant and commercially successful. Our second National Distribution Centre, which is on track to open at the end of this year, is further proof of our dedication to investing in the continued growth of the region and to build on our long heritage in Hull.”

The 58,500 sq ft, five floor building will have a contemporary look and feel, with social meeting areas, a glass fronted atrium and an auditorium for staff and customer presentations. It has been designed to enhance the existing environment and blend with neighbouring buildings, including the @TheDock tech campus and its centrepiece, the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI).

As well as cementing Arco’s future in Hull, the development will create around 200 jobs during the construction phase and provide a further major boost for the regeneration of the Fruit Market and the economy of Hull city centre.

Wykeland is currently delivering £70m of development, with flagship schemes including the fast-growing Bridgehead business park close to the Humber Bridge, west of Hull; the expanding Melton West site in East Yorkshire; and the @TheDock tech campus in Hull’s Fruit Market waterfront quarter.

Wykeland is also part of the Wykeland Beal joint venture driving forward the regeneration of the Fruit Market, in partnership with Hull City Council, and is working with Hambleton District Council to transformthe former Northallerton Prison site in North Yorkshire into the £17m Treadmills retail, leisure and business destination.