A £15 million office block threw open its doors for the first time as a group of civic dignitaries were taken on a guided tour.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby was among a party of more than 50 VIP guests given a special preview of the new Mattioli Woods building in Leicester.
The visit was led by company chief executive officer and co-founder Ian Mattioli MBE, who said the New Walk development was a statement of its intention to be “a long-term, sustainable business”.
He described the city centre site as “a great location” and declared: “It gives us the ambition and scope to grow the business for the next 50 years and beyond”.
Yesterday’s visit saw Sir Peter, city councillors and council officers walk the floors of the five-storey office where they were also given a virtual tour of how it will look when furnished.
The 60,000 sq ft, glass-fronted building occupies the spot which was formerly the home of Leicester City Council. Its headquarters was demolished in 2015 after being declared structurally unsafe.
Mr Mattioli said the company’s move from Enderby later this year would bring £15 million of salaries into the heart of the city, with major spin-offs for the local economy.
He described it as “a great place to do business” and said: “We have a soul. We have a culture. We have values. Our clients are absolutely core to everything we do”.
Sir Peter spoke of the building’s “wow” factor and “just how amazing” the transformation had been.
He told Mr Mattioli: “When we left the site, we could have simply walked away from it. But we wanted to find an organisation with the imagination to do something special with it. You have made it happen”.
“Being out of town is not the same as being in the heart of a vibrant city like Leicester. We are making this an important place to work and invest. Welcome back – we are delighted to have you,” he said.
Roy Coley, managing director of developers the Sowden Group, said: “We were delighted to be chosen for this scheme and to help stop the exodus from city to the county”.