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Goodyear unveils new Birmingham home

By Simon Penfold | Birmingham | Business | Published:

Goodyear Dunlop has left its Birmingham home after more than a century, unveiling a brand-new headquarters across the city beside the airport.

The workforce of more than 200 people has moved to an office on the 148-acre Birmingham Business Park near Solihull.

Last year saw the end of production at Goodyear's last remaining tyre factory in the UK, in Wolverhampton. It’s only other plant, making autosport tyres in Birmingham, closed in 2014 after the site was bought by Jaguar Land Rover. Goodyear retained its marketing, distribution and service operation at its TyreFort site at Erdington before the latest move, setting up its GDHQ offices at 2920 Trident Court on Solihull Parkway, on Birmingham Business Park.

The move ends a century-long link with the Erdington area. The Dunlop Rubber Co Ltd was set up in Birmingham in 1901 to manufacture Dunlop tyres and massive demand for lorry tyres during the First World War saw the huge Fort Dunlop factory built in 1916. The factory closed in the 1980s but was redeveloped into offices in 2004.

Property consultancy CBRE advised Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK Limited on its move to Birmingham Business Park.

New new offices, named GDHQ, are now home to the company’s sales and marketing teams and a research and development centre for the Dunlop Motorsport business. It houses the firm’s five brands – Goodyear, Dunlop, Fulda, Sava and HiQ.

Rachel Ridgill, HR director UK and Ireland, at Goodyear Dunlop, said: “Birmingham Business Park gave us the opportunity to have our own branded HQ in a self-contained building. The Park is easily accessible for our staff, with plenty of on-site parking and amenities.”

Birmingham Business Park, near junction 6 of the M42, is set in 148 acres of mature parkland. There are more than 100 buildings, with 120 occupiers employing 7,000 people. BlackRock acquired a substantial holding on the business park in 2015 and is investing more than £6m in a rolling refurbishment programme with the assistance of asset management partner Canmoor.

Goodyear Dunlop joins a list of global brands including EE, Metro Bank, Fujitsu and Nokia Siemens Networks based at Birmingham Business Park, plus automotive heavyweights Rolls Royce and Changan and engineering company IMI.

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The interiors of GDHQ were designed and built by national fit out and refurbishment specialist Overbury in a the three-month project.

Michele Clifton, account manager for Birmingham-based Overbury, said: “Goodyear Dunlop’s focus on technological innovation and industry knowledge informed the working brief. Our challenge was to provide inspirational and flexible working environments for its sales and marketing teams, as well as Dunlop’s motorsport research and development teams.”

Joe Huddleston, senior project designer at Overbury, said: “Goodyear Dunlop’s new HQ will be its UK flagship for clients and staff - a comfortable, bright and welcoming home. The key to this project was to design environments that boost collaboration by providing a variety of spaces that are tailored to support different tasks. "

]Rachel Ridgill, HR director for Goodyear Dunlop UK, said: “We are thrilled with our exciting new headquarters and our associates are enjoying the flexibility the new office space provides them. We have also been impressed with the amount of additional activities that the business park offers to our associates such as wellbeing activities, social gatherings and forum groups.”

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Long-term partner, Wolverhampton-based marketing agency Connect, worked with the tyre giant on the move to the new offices, coming up with the name Goodyear Dunlop Headquarters ‘GDHQ’ and created the overall identity.

Geraldine McGovern, marketing manager for UK & Ireland at Goodyear Dunlop commented on the vision for the 30,000 sq ft office: “Our number one priority for any new building was that it was an engaging space that staff and visitors would find uplifting, playful and most importantly, inspiring.”

Antony Green, managing director at Connect said: “We have partnered with Goodyear Dunlop for many years and wanted to ensure the new offices were more than just a building. We wanted to create an experience for anyone who walked into the building. A place that employees were proud of and customers were excited to visit.”

From day one Connect worked in collaboration with contractors to ensure every single part of GDHQ embodied Goodyear Dunlop values and culture. In addition to the physical building, Connect produced corporate literature, branded items, and brand films for the main reception area.

Connect says staff based at GDHQ have embraced the new building with initial comments including “a very modern, thought provoking environment” and “reflects that culture I see at Goodyear Dunlop these days”.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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