The challenge

Rebuilding an ethics-led brand, governance to protect provenance

The Co-operative Bank was facing a significant challenge both in reputation and financially following a number of events which saw the Bank finally separating from The Co-operative Group. Strive were asked to support the Bank with their real estate strategy through the development of an Exe-Co paper; looking to introduce agile and establish a range of business benefits which could be achieved through a more collaborative and flexible footprint.

Office desks and green and blue lockers

what we did

The initial three months of engagement and data gathering included sessions with the executive team and other external consultants, to establish the ‘As-Is’ position and sentiment. Further analysis of the physical challenges such as the remaining term of the leases, the poor condition of the existing estate, lack of staff engagement and pressure to vacate certain buildings in the city within a compressed timescale were all part of the process to build a case for change.

Strive created a programme and outline scope for a phased approach to the develop the estate across the North West (housing approx 6000 staff), this included five buildings and a significant budget which remains undisclosed at this time. As part of the strategy The Bank needed to establish a new HQ which resulted in the full scale refurbishment of Balloon Street in Manchester.

Breakout area with red, blue, green and purple seating and lighting
Grey and light oak kitchen

the result

The relocation of the existing branch based at Balloon Street to a new location in the city, allowed the entire ground floor to be re-modelled and a new central entrance / reception more commensurate with a Head Office was created.

Over 1550 staff are now operating out of Balloon Street on 1250 desks, with a view to this increasing over time as more agile working practices are adopted. The fire and vertical circulation strategy was improved to support the increased capacity within the building as well as the creation of a new staff restaurant facility.

Consolidation of two buildings into one in Skelmersdale following an extensive refurbishment programme at Delf House where many of the contact centre staff are based.

Timber slat wall with halo reception and aluminium lettering and digital signage