What do companies want from their office space? The Park MK team believe it’s a carefully tailored workplace offer – one that tangibly demonstrates recognition of their employees’ wants and needs when they choose it as their home.
Repositioned and given a new identity by commercial real estate investor Colmore Capital, The Park MK (formerly Wavendon Business Park) comprises five buildings – Enigma, Turing, Victory, Cobra and Wavendon Tower – set in a peaceful, green setting with wellbeing and its on-site community at its heart.
Guy Revell, from Colmore Capital, said:
“What made the park such a compelling opportunity for us was its strong fundamentals – the quality of the buildings, the landscaped parkland – whilst also being a blank canvas with scope to create a truly outstanding workplace and on-site culture for our customers. Companies rightly expect more from their choice of accommodation – curating the right working environment is a key tool to attract and retain talent, support employee wellbeing and inspire teams to want to be in the office together.
“We believe the right way to do that is a real focus on people – starting with ensuring our fantastic on-site team delivers great customer service and is empowered to drive new initiatives, and then making sure everything we do and offer, from new amenities to events to choosing local suppliers and good causes to support, is relevant and right for our customers.”
That includes a woodland walk where workers can de-stress in nature on a lunch break, a lending library, sports and games equipment and even a putting green. The locally-operated café is the hub of The Park MK and the community team, led by the park’s Lifestyle Manager Sarah Osoba, organises a range of wellbeing, networking, entertainment and sports events to bring teams together.
The benefits of friendly competition are felt by customers, with one commenting:
“It was such a brilliant couple of hours, it made the day feel so different from a normal work day, and also helped the team to bond even more. The activities that are now on offer really did boost the morale of the team and was a great way to have a bit of fun and a laugh doing something completely different.”
Sarah reflects on what makes The Park MK stand out from the crowd:
“The park has made a huge journey these past 18 months and I’m extremely proud of the team’s achievements here. My role means I speak to everyone on site – the landscapers, the café operators, facilities and (most importantly!) our lovely customers. Building ties with the local community is also extremely important and we look to use local suppliers for events and support Milton Keynes-based charities like St Marks Meals and MK Act – keeping things local helps us be more sustainable too.
“It’s been really gratifying to receive such positive feedback about the day-to-day impact that work life here now has for our customers, particularly when they were previously struggling to encourage staff back to the office. By supporting the businesses here with wellbeing initiatives and events, we’re providing that social hook that is lacking from home working.”
The lively community and wellbeing programme were key in attracting the park’s latest occupier, Renewi, who join international household names Securitas, Boeing Defence, Unisys and national charity ISP.
James Priestly, Managing Director at Renewi, said:
“We chose to relocate for several important reasons. The site’s eco-friendly credentials – encapsulated by an EPC A rating – align perfectly with our own sustainability ethos.
“Also, the wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance, and we were very impressed by the site’s comprehensive wellbeing package, ample outdoor space and onsite café. For all these reasons, the decision to relocate to The Park MK was an easy one to make.”
With weekly fitness sessions, a walking group and monthly chair massages there’s always something to entice customers away from their desks and feedback has been encouraging, with one appreciative customer thanking the team:
“I just wanted say how grateful I am for the Tuesday workout sessions. I’ve never participated in instructor led or group workout sessions before, and always felt that sort of thing was outside of my comfort zone. I feel differently now, and I’m glad I decided to take the plunge.”
The park has an ethos to assist customers with typical ‘weekend’ jobs to help protect valuable home time. As such, there is a regular visiting car valet service, chiropractor visits, dry-cleaning service, a library and a ‘pick-your-own’ herb garden. The park has its own app that allows the team to communicate the latest activities, promote workshops, run competitions and stay in touch with the community.
“Making a success of our business park involves making day-to-day life easy and convenient, injecting variety and fun into the working week and making sure we are maximising all the positive parts of coming into a workplace that the home can’t offer – namely the social interaction and collaboration.
“Fundamentally, I think it’s the people-focused approach that sets us apart. The fact that we haven’t simply provided amenities to attract people in, we’ve created a community and believe there is so much more to the workplace than simply the day-to-day business.”
The Park MK has more space in the pipeline, with refurbishments planned for the Turing and Victory buildings which will provide 20,000 and 40,000 sq ft of Grade A office space respectively. Colmore Capital’s design team are well under way with planning consent already achieved for Turing and, when delivered, each will offer show-stopping space with impeccable environmental and sustainability credentials.
Guy Revell added:
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be investing in Milton Keynes and seeing the transformation of The Park MK over the last two years has been great, particularly when the team’s hard work pays off as we welcome new customers and our existing occupiers recommit to their space.”
Find out more about The Park MK or contact the joint letting agents Bray Fox Smith on 01908 061260 or Savills on 020 7409 8866.