Case Study

  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-duration
  • Duration
  • 115 Days
  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-people-moved
  • People Moved
  • 2300
  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-buildings
  • Buildings
  • 14
  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-crates-used
  • Crates Used
  • 9250
  • universal-commercial-relocation-case-study-icon-sector
  • Sector
  • Local Government

Executive summary

Brent Council is pursuing a far-reaching transformation agenda that better meets the needs of its community. As a major part of its transformation, in 2013, Brent Council sought to unify the Council under one roof, in its state of the art Civic Centre, one of the UK’s greenest public buildings and lying at the heart of the borough’s regeneration. Uniting the Council with Brent’s diverse community, the new civic centre acts as a hub from which residents can access new and improved facilities, services and support under one roof.


Universal were contracted to relocate staff, services and resources previously housed in 14 buildings across the borough into seven floors of office space in the new Brent Civic Centre. Universal were also instructed to clear the buildings being exited of any redundant furniture and equipment in line with Universal’s ISO 14001 accreditation for environmental management.

Throughout the relocation, it was essential that the Council services remained functioning with minimum disruption and that staff were able to continue to serve the needs of the community throughout the relocation.

How Universal delivered

Universal developed a strategy that saw approximately 2300 people moved over 12 phases whilst ensuring that the Council was able to function throughout. Evening and weekend work meant that the relocation could take place with minimal disturbance to Council workers and those seeking to use council services, and that the Council staff could continue to provide essential and non-essential services to local residents.

Universal worked closely and strategically with the Commissioning and Resources Team, different Services and Directorates, and individual move co-ordinators to ensure the relocation was a success. Over 9000 crates were used during the project, being a mixture of personal crates, IT crates and filing crates. Universal was able to recycle crates as the project progressed thereby keeping crate hire charges to a minimum.

The Council’s move facilitated a change to new working practices and the introduction of thin clients instead of hard drives. Throughout the move, Universal was also responsible for the decommissioning and recommissioning of IT by Universal’s qualified IT Engineers.

Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans

It was estimated that bringing the Council together would save £2.5m in costs every year, funds that could then be fed back into the community through better services and many new facilities.

The multipurpose development allows the Council to realise its vision for a consolidated facility housing their civic, public and administrative functions under one roof.