Accenture expand into second Cobalt Park premises as workforce passes 600

The IT services giant has trebled staff numbers at its Newcastle Delivery Centre over the five years since its launch.

IT giant Accenture has expanded into a second building at its Cobalt Park base in North Tyneside.

The technology and management consultancy firm has added 51,000 sq ft of space at Cobalt 9C in addition to the 20,000 sq ft it moved into in 2012.

It means Accenture has now surpassed people in 600 in the North East – a trebling of its workforce in the five years since its Newcastle Delivery Centre launched.

Bob Paton, managing director of Accenture’s Newcastle Delivery Centre, said: “We are expanding our presence in the region in response to client demand, driven in particular by interest in our digital capabilities.

“The fact that Accenture has trebled its headcount in the North East in just five years demonstrates our commitment to job creation in the region and the UK in general.”

He added: “We’re talking about more and better jobs in the region and this is all about those types of jobs.

“We take on three levels of people, and that includes those who are experienced, and those we call entry level. That might be graduates or apprenticeships. We’ve got great relationships with the universities in the North East LEP area and we’ve also got a brilliant apprenticeship programme.

“I believe we’ve actually got the best higher level IT apprenticeship scheme in the country – helped by input from Newcastle College, Northumbria University and more recently Sunderland University.

“In the three years of the apprenticeship programme our trainees come out with a foundation degree.

“We recruit for the programme on a very simple basis. All we ask is that candidates show a real interest in IT and have the right attitude towards learning.”

Accenture’s UK Technology Apprenticeship programme offers 20 roles in Newcastle for 2015.

Across the region the firm oversees 70 apprentices and the programme is heavily informed by Mr Paton’s own background having left school at 16 before joining the civil service and moving into computer programming.

North Tyneside mayor Norma Redfearn said: “Our Business Team has worked closely with Accenture over the last 12 months and it’s wonderful to see the expansion taking place on Cobalt Park. We are delighted that lots more highly skilled jobs and roles for apprentices are being created in the digital sector, providing excellent opportunities for North Tyneside residents and the region as a whole.

“We wish Accenture every success and look forward to working with them in the future as they continue to grow.”

Late last year Accenture announced it would recruit for 150 positions at its Newcastle base.

The jobs spanned all levels with focus on application development skills in digital technologies, Java programming, testing and managing IT.

Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, employs more than 336,000 people in total, serving clients in more than 120 countries.

The company, which generated net revenues of US$30bn for the year ended August 31, has had a presence in the North East for 16 years, starting out at the old Fleming Business Centre in Jesmond before moving to the Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside.

Adrian Hill, Highbridge Properties Plc director, added: “We are delighted that Accenture, a world leader in their field of professional services, has chosen Cobalt as the focus for their expansion. This is the second time Accenture has expanded at Cobalt after taking an initial 20,000 sq ft in 2012 (Cobalt 15A) Accenture now occupies over 70,000 sq ft at Cobalt –the UK’s largest office park.”

“The deal follows hard on the heels of lettings to Siemens (40,000 sq ft), HP (37,500 sq ft) and UtilityWise (78,000 sq ft) and has taken the total of recent lettings to 240,000 sq ft. “

“The fact that they and six other major organisations have chosen to expand via the acquisition of additional office space at Cobalt is the best possible endorsement of the scheme’s quality and the strength of its connectivity”.

Aidan Baker, director of Agency at BNP Paribas Real Estate, the joint letting agent for the scheme and broker of the deal, said: “Cobalt’s scheme quality and transport links coupled to access to a full range of amenities has led to the unrivalled take up and clearly proves the location is a major success story for the Region. Cobalt has a recruitment catchment of over 1.1 million people and is able to support a wide range of amenity and retailers including one of the country’s most successful Tesco Express stores operating within Cobalt Central. The 11 lettings over the past two years have increased Cobalt’s workforce to around 14,000.”

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