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A major move to Melville: PKF Francis Clark relocates to Royal William Yard
Posted on: 03 Oct 2022
The South West’s largest independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers, PKF Francis Clark, is relocating its Plymouth operations to a flagship office in the Grade I Listed Melville building at Royal William Yard. The move is due to take place early next year and is set to transform where and how the team of over 100 people will work.
The new Plymouth base for PKF Francis Clark will span 8,783 sq ft of space over two floors of the iconic Melville building at the heart of Royal William Yard, which has been brought back to life by award winning regeneration company Urban Splash. The firm will join Hub Box, Pho, and BLOCK Plymouth in the successfully and sensitively restored first phase of Melville – soon to be joined by Everyman cinema.
In choosing its new Plymouth site, PKF Francis Clark looked to Royal William Yard as a key urban regeneration project for the city and felt nowhere else could offer a comparable environment. The setting not only delivers the ‘wow factor’ for the business, but offers the opportunity to embrace new ways of working and a different type of lifestyle for its team. As a client-focused business, the move also represents a chance to offer an enhanced client experience and strengthen relationships.
The new workspace has been designed to encourage and enable collaborative working between staff and with clients. There are spaces to meet and work in a variety of ways, with traditional desk areas and relaxed, adaptable zones to meet the needs of hybrid working. Large rooms and the open plan nature of the space allows for complete flexibility. Blending original features alongside contemporary design, the office also has an enviable view over the Yard’s own marina.
Priding itself on being an exceptional place to work, for PKF Francis Clark the move signals an increased focus on staff wellbeing, with the surroundings of Royal William Yard offering a work/life balance beyond the traditional 9-5. There are countless ways to relax, socialise, and exercise body and mind, from stand-up paddle-boarding and swimming in the tidal pool, weekly yoga sessions and coastal walks along the South West Coast Path.
From its new waterfront office, PKF Francis Clark will deliver audit, tax, financial planning, corporate finance and business advisory services. With an unrivalled reputation, the firm has helped businesses, entrepreneurs, families and individuals for over 100 years. It has eight offices throughout the South West, 53 partners, over 800 members of staff, and annual revenue of £52 million; making it a regional business success story.
Known for supporting the business community, Royal William Yard is already a vibrant hub for businesses spanning hospitality, leisure, wellness and creativity – and it is fast becoming a go to destination for financial and professional services firms too. PKF Francis Clark joins Responsible Life, Hoare Lea, Ward Williams Associates, LHC Design, and Rame Architects at the Yard. A new addition to this distinguished group is KBG Chambers, the largest barristers Chambers in Plymouth, which is moving to Mills Bakery.
Emily Jones, Commercial Director of Urban Splash, said: “It is an honour to have one of the region’s oldest and most respected businesses join us at Royal William Yard. Moving to this particularly special building – itself packed with history and having been the beating heart of how the Yard once ran – seems especially fitting. Melville is an incredible building and we have always had a clear vision, ahead of and throughout its restoration, about its potential.
“We work to form partnerships with businesses moving here, with a flexible approach that gives them a great base from which to operate. 2022 has been a pivotal year for that, and we have welcomed some incredible businesses to join our growing community.
“Over the past decade we have transformed the Yard into a bustling place in which people can live, work and play – somewhere that’s filled with shops, bars, restaurants, galleries, a gym, sports pursuits on the water – and of course great office based businesses whose colleagues benefit from an environment in which they can work productively and live life to the fullest. Relax, get fit, socialise with colleagues, entertain clients, shop for great produce, enjoy a drink with live music, or simply unwind on a break by the sea; there’s no place like it.”
Duncan Leslie, PKF Francis Clark’s Plymouth office managing partner, said: “Since we moved into our current offices in 2006, our team in Plymouth has grown from 38 people to more than 100 today. In seeking the right location to support our next phase of growth, we’ve taken the opportunity to reimagine our working environment. With a variety of spaces for socialising and collaborating with colleagues, our new offices will be tailor-made for the era of hybrid working and reflect our ambition to be a great place to work in every sense.
“Royal William Yard combines Plymouth’s rich heritage with a vibrant community of forward-thinking people and businesses. Investing in creating our own custom-designed offices within this exciting development is a sign of our commitment to the city, and we believe will help us continue to attract and retain the best talent to serve our clients.”