'Torrid time' as insurance giant Marsh quits city centre

Headquarters of Marsh (Victoria House) in Norwich.Photo: Bill SmithCopy: EDP businessFor: EDP

Marsh set to move from its Norwich city centre office - Credit: Archant

Marsh is set to move its offices to the edge of Norwich in a plan that will spark a huge exodus of workers from the city centre.

The move to Broadland Business Park will be seen as a blow to small businesses in the city who rely on office workers for trade.

The current office, Victoria House in Queens Road, housed more than 1,000 workers before the pandemic struck meaning many began working from home.

The firm confirmed no jobs will be lost as part of the move from the city where Marsh has been for more than 50 years. 

South Norwich Labour MP Clive Lewis Photo: UK Parliament

South Norwich Labour MP Clive Lewis Photo: UK Parliament - Credit: UK Parliament

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis warned the move would hit city centre businesses hard.

“City centres, local businesses and the environment all suffer when large employers relocate," he said. "Finding new, decent uses for the vacated space is often tough.

"So at least it’s reassuring that the City Council has moved to prevent buildings like Marsh’s being turned into low-quality accommodation.

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"Other – often small and independent – city centre businesses depend on custom from the staff of big employers like Marsh.

"It’s those smaller businesses who’ve had a torrid time during the pandemic too. And, moving hundreds of people from a centre well serviced by public transport to a peripheral business park designed for access by private car is likely to increase carbon emissions.

"Despite the standard corporate soft soap about supposedly improving things for employees, we all know that when large corporations make decisions like this, it’s to ultimately increase returns to institutional shareholders at the expense of local people and our planet.”

The insurance firm stated that it was planning the move to invest in a refurbished office space for staff that meets the needs of evolving working patterns. Marsh plans for the move to be completed by the autumn of this year. 

Marsh chief executive of UK and Ireland Chris Lay said: "Marsh has had a strong presence in Norwich for more than 50 years and is proud to be part of the fabric of Norwich’s renowned financial services sector.

"The deep pool of talent available in the area makes Norwich central to our future. The move to Willow House underlines our deep commitment to Norwich and will provide our Norwich colleagues with state-of-the-art facilities."