Midcounties plan central HQ near M40

Midcounties Co-operative, Britain’s second biggest independent society, has announced plans to move head office staff to a new HQ near Leamington Spa before the end of the year.

The society says 145 staff currently based at Oxford and Walsall will be offered the chance to move to the new facility near the M40 in Warwickshire to help centralise administration and support services in the heart of their trading area.

A society statement said staff were currently being consulted about the proposals, but no details were given on the future use of the premises in the two existing centres or whether personnel unwilling to move to the new HQ will be made redundant.

A spokeswoman said the society were unable to provide further details during the consultation process. The proposed site near Leamington Spa is around 45 miles from Oxford and 32 miles from Walsall. The Oxford HQ was formerly the main office of the Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Society, which merged with the Walsall-based West Midlands Co-op to form Midcounties in 2005.

The Midcounties statement said the society will retain a significant presence in both Walsall and Oxford and hopes, in the near future, to be able to announce a development that will increase its presence in Walsall and create a number of new jobs.

It added: “All Midcounties colleagues involved will be given the opportunity to move with the society, with transport and relocation expenses offered where appropriate.”

Midcounties Chief Executive Ben Reid commented: “Since the society was formed in 2005, we have been running administration and support services out of two centres. That has worked well, but it makes sound business sense as the company grows to consolidate into one place. 

“The building at Leamington is being extended and developed to our specification with environmental considerations to the fore, something we know our members are particularly keen on. The offices will be as ‘green’ as they can be and a single central location will mean fewer car journeys.”

Mr Reid said Walsall and Oxford would continue to be core trading areas and the society would not stint in its ongoing support for the local communities there. 

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