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Primark to extend UK headquarters

Primark has submitted a planning application to extend its UK headquarters in Reading.

The value retailer currently has a store and a head office at 32-41 West Street in the city centre, as well as a store on Broad Street, which it received planning permission to extend in 2015. It plans to consolidate its retail trading at the store in Broad Street and convert the West Street site to office space.

The West Street building currently has a retail store on the ground floor and ancillary areas on the basement level. The existing head office is located on the first, second and third floors.

“The building is in urgent need of an upgrade in order to meet the standards sought by modern day office occupiers and this redevelopment opportunity can provide Primark with the suitable facilities to retain their existing staff, attract the best staff out of London and provide Primark with sufficient space expansion to facilitate their growth,” it said in the planning application filed on December 21.

The retailer completed an upgrade to its Dublin headquarters in early 2015, which it said has “transformed the way they work”.

Chief executive Paul Marchant said: “We must retain top talent at Primark and believe that these headquarters (in Ireland), with their excellently equipped workplaces, now meet the highest demands.”

The Reading application proposes to remove the car parking area in the basement. Combined with existing basement floorspace, it will be converted into a new café/bar facility and staff gym/studio facilities with changing rooms.

The first and second floors will be refurbished and the third floor will accommodate further studio ‘mock shop’ space and office expansion.

The refurbishment has been designed to accommodate 550 employees, compared to 512 people currently. There is also potential for further expansion on the third floor for a further 140 people.

Primark declined to comment on the headquarters.

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