On line travel agency On the Beach has officially opened its brand new digital headquarters in Manchester city centre.
The state-of-the-art base is at Aeroworks, a former factory. The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor June Hitchen, joined employees to cut the ribbon on Wednesday to mark the opening of the new premises.
The ceremony came the day after On The Beach founder Simon Cooper was honoured at the annual Travolution Awards for his impact on the online travel sector having built the firm to one of the UK’s largest travel firms over the last 18 years.
Following a multi-million-pound design and re-fit, On The Beach has relocated the majority of its business operations to the Aeroworks building.
The business’ contact centre will remain at the online travel agent’s previous headquarters at Park Square in Cheadle, which will also undergo major redesign and refit, due for completion in early 2019.
On The Beach said the new campus-style office has been designed with innovation and collaboration in mind, devoting its entire lower ground floor to a range of open working and social spaces, including a 250-seater auditorium and theatre, games room and beach bar, as well as palapa-shaded breakout areas, virtual aquarium and even a hammock-bedecked chill-out room.
The upper floors include open plan office space, creative working areas, beach-themed lounges and state-of-the-art collaboration technology throughout. They also house a user experience testing lab as well as development team pods which all feature their own lounge, showcase and display areas and agile working space.
The agency said the move will provide the space needed to allow the FTSE 250 Company to realise its growth plans and compete with the northwest’s leading technology businesses to attract and retain the very best talent in the region and beyond.
On the Beach plans to almost double its workforce to more than 500 employees in the next three to five years. The majority of this growth will come from expansion of its digital teams, focusing on Development, Design and Marketing as well as Product and Business Analysis.
Cooper said: “After conducting an extensive engagement initiative with all our employees, we are all absolutely thrilled with our new. Not only will they provide a fantastic working environment for our current employees but will also enable us to attract the very best talent from Manchester and around the rest of the UK.
“At heart On the Beach has always been a Manchester-based business, and now we are a business based in the heart of Manchester. We’re excited about being at the centre of the city’s vibrant digital community and for what the future holds as we continue to grow.”
Councillor Hitchen, said: “Manchester is known as one of the UK’s centres of innovation, creativity and industry. The decision to establish this new office here is a real reflection of what the city has to offer, as well as recognising the huge amount of talent that we have in Manchester and also the wider region.”
ADT Workplace design and delivery teams worked in partnership with On the Beach to create the vibrant and intelligent workspace, which totals 34,507 square feet.