Special K

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It’s been a while since we had a proper look around Salford’s MediaCity. To say the place has changed over that time is something of an understatement. Actually, change isn’t the right word – flourished is a far more appropriate description.

The myriad of bars and restaurants (which weren’t even here the last time we were) are buzzing, with media types enjoying a late lunch, early drink or alfresco meeting, taking advantage of this continued fine weather.

Moving from BBC ‘land’ into ITV territory, we find the Orange Building – and our destination for this afternoon’s tour; the new home of Kellogg’s.

Kellogg’s recently relocated its UK headquarters to MediaCity, with TSK appointed to deliver the close to 50,000 sq ft space.


‘Kellogg’s wanted a space which would reflect the business’ progressive ambitions for the future, whilst also representing the rich heritage and brand,’ Andy Burke, Director at TSK, tells us. ‘Our aim was to create a workspace that would kick-start a cultural change for Kellogg’s and create a fantastic environment to attract and retain the best talent. We worked in partnership with Kellogg’s to engage employees throughout the process to ensure we were creating a truly people-centred workplace that supports them in the work and enhances the business.

‘The design is focused around openness to inspire collaboration and creativity, with employee wellbeing at its heart. Creating the space provided an opportunity to introduce new ways of working for Kellogg’s. A blend of spaces defined by ‘neighbourhoods’ enables employees to move between different activity-based settings, choosing their work settings dependent on their tasks and working patterns.

‘We worked with Kellogg’s from design through to completion, involving staff from across the organisation to better understand their workplace needs and aid in employee engagement before, during and after the move,’ Andy continues as we walk though the bright, open central public floor. ‘Situated across three floors of this iconic building, the new space and dynamic environment we have created enables employees to work at their best whilst appealing to a new generation of talent. Offering stunning views and natural light, the design is focused around openness, the ability to connect with colleagues, incorporating a variety of different work settings and a move for the organisation towards Activity Based Working.’

‘Our new office is really enabling us to build a culture for the 21st century for Kellogg’s. It has a variety of new work settings, in a bright, fresh environment, right in the heart of one of Manchester’s most vibrant business communities. It’s really helping our business grow.’ Paul Wheeler, Director of Corporate Communications at Kellogg’s, enthuses.

While we’ve got a little of Paul’s valuable time, we ask about the background behind this relocation/working transformation. ‘Kellogg’s UK headquarters moved to Orange Tower in January, we relocated 420 employees. During the move process we had to bring employees on the journey with us, listening and teasing out concerns as well as getting staff excited about our new location.’

What was the primary driver for this move? ‘As we strive to grow to the business we need to be in an innovative environment that inspires great work,’ Paul says. ‘Our Old Trafford HQ served us well for nearly three decades, but it’s now time for a new home, which better reflects where we are heading as a company.’

‘This has been a huge transition for Kellogg’s,’ Andy confirms. ‘They have moved from being an owner/occupier into a multi-tenanted building. This marked the changing of the business – it shows their progressive nature. They had shrunk as a business – they have become more of that global business as opposed to centrally headquartered. This is a real changing of the guards. You always had this perception of Kellogg’s just being about corn flakes, but there’s so much more about them. Their portfolio is much wider than that and they are now moving towards a more nutrition-based message. It’s a big shift in the marketplace for them. I’m not sure they would be able to achieve this if they hadn’t decided to physically move – and to move into a dynamic environment such as MediaCity.


‘They are now able to connect with their consumers. Their former home was a gated building – it was designed to look inwards, with offices on the outside and everyone sat in the middle, looking into a large, central atrium. That naturally led to them becoming an inward looking business. Now they are in touch with the people who eat their products – and they’re even bringing those consumers into this space to try their products. That’s a big change in itself for them. It was a big decision to leave Trafford – but they knew they were able to do something special here and also from an investment perspective, so they’ve also been able to leave a whole legacy.’

‘Our organisation has been through a lot of change and will continue to change – today more than 40% of our head count is millennial, therefore we needed a space that reflects the generational change in how people work,’ Paul continues. ‘Kellogg’s is a people business – we needed a headquarters that reflected our culture, that ensured we retain our talent and enabled us to attract the best new talent. The office has moved us into the heart of the MediaCityUK community and enables our employees be inspired by our vibrant surroundings, bringing the outside in to our organisation.’

What do you hope to achieve through this new working environment? ‘TSK’s design teams have considered tools and technologies to help transition the changing work culture – considering employee demographic, best practice for flexible working and how to utilise the new open plan office space,’ Paul tells us.

‘The new headquarters has been developed to reflect the business’s ambition and future ahead, whilst bringing to life its strong heritage and brand.

The three floors in the new workspace have been developed to foster collaboration and creativity with open, flexible spaces to eliminate silo working and bring people together.

‘Our new home is allowing Kellogg’s UK headquarters to culturally reset our business. The new location is vibrant and exciting, and we hope it will help us attract and retain top talent.’

The aforementioned middle floor has been designed as the public floor, bringing people both internally and externally to the organisation together, this includes dining areas, kitchens, social spaces and a variety of both informal and formal meeting settings. There is no formal reception desk here, instead a concierge-style service, while brilliant, bold graphics show nods to Kellogg’s heritage (including that unmistakable ‘K’) and to the local area. Beyond this, there is next to no company branding on show – other than displays of the products themselves, which can be acquired by staff from a discreet concession point.


Other standout features of the space include The Gallery – a festival style auditorium space – Brew, a coffee bar, and a customer engagement suite, blending employee space with the customer experience. Enabling international staff communication and a vastly improved employee experience, the latest state-of-the-art technology is built into the space, while colourful, soundproofed glass ‘pods’ allow for those necessary quiet moments, whilst staff still feeling part of the workplace community.

We should also mention the brilliant palette of colours and standard of finishes TSK has brought into the scheme. The palette adds a real pop to the floorplates, while the standard of finishes and furniture used throughout all three floors is exceptional. The large, open working floors are cleverly delineated with the use of breakout facilities and storage, while it is also great to see that the perimeter spaces that offer the best views over MediaCity and beyond are given over to further staff breakout/informal meeting areas. Apparently, you can even see the Kellogg’s cereal factory in Trafford from up here!

We ask Paul whether the final results of the move have met or even exceeded expectations. ‘Our new workspace encourages a more collaborative environment, our employees are no longer working in silos, and they are now working more naturally in their teams and with other teams,’ he considers. ‘The change in dynamic has boosted productivity and communication across the business.

‘To encourage people to take regular breaks to boost productivity and wellbeing, we do not encourage people to eat at their desks. This directs employees to take a much-needed time-out over their lunch, recharge and get away from their screen for a short time.

‘They now head to the kitchen tables or our social Eat area. In turn, employees are more energised, they are socialising in the designated office spaces and building relationships across the business.

‘Since moving to our new office we have implemented agile working that gives employees more flexibility over how and where they choose to work.’

Supporting Kellogg’s in achieving their objectives for true cultural change, the new headquarters fosters a positive, collaborative and healthy environment that will enable employees to feel happy and be inspired to come to work every day. It is a space to ‘wow’ customers, consumers and future talent, perfectly blending the brand’s legacy with the Kellogg’s of tomorrow.


In Short

  • Founded in 1906 by brothers Dr John Harvey and Will Keith Kellogg, the global brand currently operates 18 factories, with the largest being in Manchester.
  • Kellogg’s holds a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales.
  • Leading Kellogg’s brands include Corn Flakes, Special K, All Bran, Chocos, Honey loops, Nutri-Grain, Pringles, Pop-Tarts and Cheez-It Crackers.
  • The business is headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA.
  • Kellogg’s was the first company to introduce ‘prizes’ into boxes of cereal.

Project Team

  • Client – Kellogg’s
  • Interior Design – TSK Group
  • Furniture Provider – TSK Group
  • Flooring – Milliken, Polyflor
  • Furniture – Herman Miller, Vitra, KI, Naughtone, Orangebox
  • Storage – Spacestor, KI
  • Flooring – Milliken, Polyflor
  • Lighting – Graypants, Quirk Lighting
  • Bespoke Joinery – CPA