HRH The Duke of York officially opened KPMG’s new Leeds office in Sovereign Square on Tuesday, after touring the building and spending time with employees, clients and local school pupils.
Watched by hundreds of KPMG partners, staff, members of the business community and key public sector figures, The Duke unveiled a commemorative plaque and spoke of his pleasure to be celebrating the investment in the city.
The Duke of York said: "I am impressed with this particular building as it is right for everyone to use together, in an efficient manner, communicating with one another, which raises productivity."
Touching on the role business can play for the benefit of the country he added:
"The best sort of business is the one not only able to communicate amongst itself but also communicates out about what it can provide and what others can also do to work alongside it."
Chris Hearld, KPMG’s North Region Chairman, was delighted to host The Duke, saying:
“To welcome HRH The Duke of York to our new home here in the heart of Yorkshire was a momentous occasion for me and my 800 colleagues based in this superb building. We are thrilled that he was able to join us for an official opening ceremony to celebrate this milestone in our Yorkshire history.”
During his visit to KPMG The Duke of York met with representatives from the region’s private and public sectors, for a discussion that covered the key opportunities for the Yorkshire. He was also greeted by pupils from All Saints Church of England Primary School, which is supported by KPMG’s Leeds office. Employees visit the school weekly to support year four pupils, aged eight and nine, with their enjoyment of, and ability in, maths and reading.
Hearld added: “The planning that went into this building is already paying off, triggering changes to the way our team communicates and collaborates with one another. There is increasing emphasis on this in the context of the diverse range of areas in which we now work, with data analysis, cyber security advice and customer experience management joining our more established audit, tax and advisory services. In addition to the building’s design; breakout areas, project rooms and hot desking help to encourage and facilitate cross discipline working. This benefits our clients, as does the spacious top floor client suite and informal meeting facility in Hej, our own coffee shop.”
1 Sovereign Square
KPMG moved into 1 Sovereign Square on 2 November 2015. The 61,000 sq ft, eye-catching building was developed exclusively for the firm. Its four storey layout is designed to help KPMG people use the space flexibly, with open-plan working and a ‘cassette’ design in which the floors are connected to each other by staircases with a common atrium, encouraging staff interaction.
A sustainable building
The office has recently achieved the environmental rating SKA Gold, the highest rating available through the SKA Rating Environmental Assessment Scheme, and is on track for BREEAM Excellent Certification. It features sustainable timber, carpets and soft furnishings, as well as cycle parking bays and a green roof and is an energy efficient building, thanks to LED lighting, significant insulation and a heat pump in addition to its solar panels and plumbing designed to reduce water wastage.
As well as providing a modern and practical work space, the building pays tribute to Yorkshire with a feature wall in the atrium reflecting the region’s landscapes, heritage and current iconic structures, including images photographed by KPMG employees. The history of the site, meanwhile, as the location of the former Queens Hall concert venue is remembered through the juke box in the Hej coffee shop, which was manufactured in Leeds.
A wide ranging team of professionals
One Sovereign Square is home to 80 partners and directors, who, alongside 720 employees, deliver a broad range of services to organisations regionally, nationally and globally. From audit and tax, to deal advisory, management consultancy and risk consulting, the KPMG team works for hundreds of clients, from fast growth tech start-ups to family businesses, FTSE blue chips and organisations across the public sector economy.
For media enquiries:
Alison Anderson, PR manager, Corporate Communications, KPMG
T: 0113 254 2980
M: 07733 453 065
KPMG Press Office: +44 (0)207 694 8773
Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.