Business lender relocates to city centre HQ with plans to recruit 40 more staff

New White Oak headquarters

Independent business lender, White Oak has announced its move to a 15,000+ sq ft office in Chester city centre to accommodate its continued growth both in the region and across the UK, with plans to recruit 40 extra staff this year.

The company says the 10-year lease reaffirms White Oak’s commitment to the North West as its home with a hiring drive taking place across the coming months.

The new office space on the second floor of the landmark HQ building has been fully refurbished to a very high specification and has views across the historic City of Chester and Chester Racecourse.

Crucially, the new space houses all departments together on the same floor, creating a vibrant and dynamic working environment, allowing staff to collaborate more effectively.

White Oak has relocated from its previous head office in Ewloe, near Chester.

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease amidst the UK’s successful vaccination programme, White Oak says the new office move demonstrates its long-standing commitment to office-based work as its permanent model.

The move creates a dynamic, energetic, and professional environment best suited to supporting White Oak employees old and new, while delivering outstanding service for current and new clients, it said.

White Oak is enhancing its strong local community partnerships including a student programme with the University of Chester, Chester Aid to the Homeless and a continuing partnership with Chester Racecourse.

The new office and increased staff numbers will allow White Oak to strengthen ties with the community with a focus on those who have struggled as a result of the pandemic.

The business has offices in London, Glasgow and Southampton, and the move will mean the company will be able to continue to support businesses around the country to grow while cementing its presence in the North West.

The company is one of the largest employers in Chester, with access to a valuable talent pool in the areas of Chester, Manchester, and Liverpool.

White Oak announced earlier this year that it had committed £40m to businesses in the North West, as well as supporting businesses throughout the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing almost £400m in Government-backed CBILS loans. Businesses in the North West benefited from receiving more than £55m from White Oak in CBILS lending.

Chief operating officer James Felton, said: “The new office move to HQ, Chester is a major statement of intent for White Oak’s continued growth and evolution. The relocation to Chester reaffirms our commitment to the North West as our home where we can continue to support our customers in the region and across the UK.

“The move brings all our colleagues together helping to foster stronger working relationships and to deliver a highly interconnected and efficient service for our customers. The move also celebrates the recent successes of White Oak in doubling its lending to UK SMEs since the start of 2020 and looks to the future with space to accommodate a significant hiring initiative which will see up to 40 new staff join the business in the coming months.”

Cllr Richard Beacham, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s cabinet member for inclusive growth, economy & regeneration, said: “Cheshire West and Chester Council is investing in Chester to make it an even better place to live, work, learn and visit.

“This announcement that White Oak is relocating here is great news for our city and we hope that other businesses in the city will feel the benefit of having another large employer in the town centre.”

Will Sadler, director at property consultancy Legat Owen, the retained agent for HQ Chester, said: “HQ Chester provided White Oak with the opportunity to have all of its team together in one space and be in the heart of Chester. It is encouraging to see businesses thriving and bringing a significant number of jobs to the city.”