After 12 months and £15m, big new call centre for mobile phone company is set to open


THE first staff are expected to move into Vodafone’s eye-catching new call centre building in Stoke-on-Trent next month, following fit-out and furnishing.

It will have 850 agent positions and bring together 1,150 employees at four nearby sites.

Vodafone has taken a 16-year lease on the building at about £11 per sq ft compared to an average of £13-£14, or £20 in the city centre.

Work on the £15m project, on Etruria Valley business park, began in October 2008.  And already St Modwen, regeneration specialists, has sold the building to a private investor for a reported £10.7m.


Outside, tiling forms the Vodafone quotation mark symbol

Offices, training rooms and breakout areas are at the
edge of the building


Measuring 142m by 45m, the building has 94,500 sq ft and is formed by a wing-shaped roof.  It has two open plan double-height areas for 850 agent positions, one of 450 to the north of the building and 400 in the south.  The edge of the building houses offices, training rooms and breakout areas, with a training area on the mezzanine.  And a 250-seat cafeteria will be on the upper central balcony, with views over the call centre floors, and a 420-space car park.

One of the two call centre areas - there will be 850 agent positions

It will also feature daylight-controlled lighting, rainwater recycling and, at the front of the building, a wind turbine.

It was designed by RPS architects’ Birmingham office.  Alan McBeth, technical/design director, said: “It’s quite special…visually eye catching.  It’s like a big ship, like the QE.”

RPS points out that the building uses 450 tonnes of structural steel — the same weight as a fully laden Boeing 747-400 — and the two 747s would fit in the length of the building…and carry the same number of people.

Etruria Valley, North Staffs, near the town centre, was formerly an industrial zone and is now a regeneration area.

It comprises 500 acres alongside the A500, West Coast rail line and Stoke city centre.  Two canals, the Trent and Mersey, run through it.

The area includes the site of the former Corus steel works – and other industries – and 160 acres was the site of the 1986 National Garden Festival.

It is being redeveloped by Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration, a joint venture between St Modwen and Stoke city council, a process which began in 1987.

Vodafone, which claims 17.9m UK subscribers, is based in Newbury, Berks, and has other call centres in Banbury, Newark, Warrington and Trowbridge


A fully laden 747 weighs the same as the steel used in the building

Artist's impression of the completed building