Fiskars — Finland’s oldest company and one of Europe’s longest surviving businesses — has confirmed it is moving its UK headquarters in Birmingham.
Established in 1649 as an ironworks in a small Finnish village, Fiskars is today better known as a global supplier of home, garden and outdoor products. It has now agreed to lease 5,750 sq ft in the Bruntwood-owned Mclaren building (pictured).
Taking over the entire 17th floor, the Finnish company’s space will contain offices as well as specifically designed demonstration areas and interactive product displays to showcase its own-brand garden and kitchen tools and other internationally known brands such as Gerber, Iittala and Royal Copenhagen.
“This is an exciting time to be part of one of the world’s oldest and yet most contemporary companies,” commented Fiskars’ UK managing director and European regional director, John Grayson.
“We have been through an extensive development program in recent years and the opportunity to now re-position Fiskars UK in such an accessible location, within a welcoming and professional office environment that befits the quality of our brands and company values, is just tremendous,” added Grayson, whose division was previously based in Nottingham.
With its global headquarters in Helsinki, Fiskars employs more than 4,300 people in 19 countries. It also has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan and China and sells in 60 countries around the world. Fiskars, which recently celebrated its 365th anniversary, was also one of the first companies in Europe to manufacture microwave ovens.
A key factor in its move was the Midland city’s skill base. “One of the reasons we moved to Birmingham was for the talent situated here as the UK’s second city and, as the need arises, for new job opportunities we would certainly look to utilise this,” said a spokesman.
Located on Birmingham’s Priory Queensway, the 21-storey Mclaren building has become a distinctive feature of the city’s skyline. Originally built as the headquarters for HSBC the building was acquired by Bruntwood from the Birmingham Alliance in 2008.
Rob Valentine is head of Bruntwood’s Birmingham office. “We’re very happy to welcome Fiskars to Mclaren,” he said. “Its minimalist and modern office space looks fantastic, and its dedicated demonstration area — designed to show off its premium homewares and outdoor products — will bring many visitors to the building.”
Elsewhere in Birmingham, the family-controlled property company also owns and manages Cornwall Buildings, a Grade II listed office building on Newhall Street, and Centre City, situated close to New Street Station and the new mixed-use Grand Central complex.
Last month Bruntwood submitted a planning application for a £14m upgrade of Two Cornwall Street, which it purchased four months ago. The former home of professional services company KPMG, the building has remained empty since 2012 when the business advisor moved to new offices at One Snowhill.
When completed in 2016, the Two Cornwall Street regeneration will offer around 110,000 sq ft of badly-needed Grade A office space.