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Ordnance Survey plans route to new head office


Ordnance Survey is taking forward plans to build a new corporate headquarters on the edge of Southampton – its home for more than 160 years.

The national mapping agency is in the process of securing an option for a development site at Adanac Park, alongside the M271 gateway to the city.

Discussions will now take place to conclude a contract with a property developer ahead of a full planning application.

“This is a sound investment for the future of Ordnance Survey,” says Director General and Chief Executive, Vanessa Lawrence. “It is essential that we have a modern building suitable for a forward-looking information and technology business. Our plans will ensure we can continue to offer efficient, attractive working conditions in the Southampton area for our staff.”

Ordnance Survey’s existing 24.75-acre Romsey Road site was opened by The Queen in 1969. It was designed when business needs were very different to today and when computer technology – now at the heart of Ordnance Survey’s work – was still some way in the future. At that time, there were more than 3,000 head office staff compared to current numbers of around 1,160.

The Romsey Road building is very expensive to maintain despite significant improvements and would need even more extensive investment to stay in line with modern standards.

Adanac Park - around one mile away - offers a much more sustainable solution. The proposed building will meet modern design requirements and reflect best practice in energy efficiency and other environmental issues. It is intended to house existing staff numbers while recognising future needs and patterns of work.

The plans envisage print and warehouse facilities being separated out and rehoused on an industrial site to be found elsewhere in the Southampton area.

The decision to opt for Adanac Park follows a procurement exercise involving an assessment of bids put forward by specialist providers earlier this year.

Such is the scale and complexity of the project, staff are not likely to move to Adanac Park until 2008.

The plans continue Ordnance Survey’s strong links with the Southampton area, going back to 1841 when it moved from its first home in the Tower of London. Until the 1960s, staff worked at an office in the city’s London Road.


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