The first company to move to Middlesbrough’s newest Grade A office building said the move has been “transformative”.

Twelve months ago insurance giant AXA UK transferred 500 of its staff to 6 Centre Square, which was built with nearly £10m funding from the Tees Valley Combined Authority and a further £2m from Middlesbrough Council.

The company has taken up more than half the space in the four-storey 40,000 sq ft building and AXA Retail’s Customer Service Manager Michael Lowe said: “Our relocation to Six Centre Square has been transformative in the era of hybrid working.

“The great facilities and modern workspace in the heart of Teesside has re-energised our teams and helped enhance overall collaboration and productivity.”

He added: “The move has also future-proofed our place of work and instilled a sense of pride in our colleagues, which has had a positive impact on our business as a whole.”

Other companies – including GB Bank, XPS Pension Group and Causeway Technologies – have moved into the two other Centre Square buildings, creating a new business hub for the Tees Valley. Together they employ around 1,500 people.

Inside the AXA officesInside the AXA offices

Teesside commercial property agent Richard Wilson of Dodds Brown said: “6 Centre Square represents a new generation of workplace for this area. Employers are providing good jobs but have realised that they also need to provide an environment that attracts people – from first jobbers to experienced staff - and retains them.

“Businesses have embraced hybrid working however I think everybody recognises the benefits of staff being together, so it’s been important to create an office where they want to spend their working day – and AXA’s done just that.”

The development has increased the amount of Grade A office space in Middlesbrough, but so far this year there has been an increase in demand for Grade A space, as lease updates come around and business take the opportunity to upgrade to better quality offices.

The 4,500 sq ft suite on the ground floor has just gone under offer leaving 10,000 sq ft on the third as the only remaining space available in the building.

It is a similar story at Teesdale Business Park in Stockton where the remaining space in Cavendish House and Northshore One are now under offer.