Pearson Education to move to Harlow's Kao Park

Pearson Education to move to Harlow's Kao Park

Pearson Education is moving offices from Edinburgh Gate in Harlow to Harlow's Kao Park in mid-2017.

The move sees 300 of Pearson's Harlow-based staff make the transition to the new "science and enterprise site", respresenting an investment of £25m over the next 10 years, according to Pearson.

The site will host some of the company's fastest growing divisions, including teams working on its 3D artificial reality training tools and online systems for delivering university courses, as well as divisions of Pearson’s more traditional textbook publishing and qualification businesses.

No changes to staff levels are expected to result from the move, The Bookseller understands. The move may prove disruptive to Pearson employees commuting from London, though; whereas Edinburgh Gate was on the doorstep of Harlow Town train station, Kao Park is three miles away. 

The move to the new building, which Pearson describes as "better suited to our needs", follows a wave of redundancies last year, seeing an approximate 500 jobs cut in the UK as Pearson reduced its global workforce by 10%. The restructure was responsible in helping Pearson to deliver on its 2016 guidance. However a fifth profit warning under c.e.o. John Fallon last week saw its share price plunge almost 30%, as it revised its 2017 forecast and dividend, scrapped its £800m profit target for 2018 and revealed its intent to sell its 47% stake in Penguin Random House.

Rod Bristow, Pearson’s president in the UK, said: "Pearson has a long standing commitment to Harlow, not just as a major local employer but as a part of the community through work like our partnership with the Sir Charles Kao University Technical College. I am therefore delighted to announce not only that Pearson is re-affirming its long-standing relationship with the town but also that we will shortly be moving into a new building better suited to our needs

"Like a great many Pearson colleagues, I have happy memories of working in our Edinburgh Gate site and will be sorry to leave, however Kao Park will provide a state of the art new home for our business in Harlow. We look forward to being part of the exciting developments taking place there. I am also very grateful to Harlow's MP, Rob Halfon, whose commitment and energy played an important part in our decision”.

Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, added: "Pearson is a wonderful and historical business to have in our town. I worked hard with Pearson to make sure they could keep their home here and I am hugely grateful to their UK President, Rod Bristow, for putting more investment into Harlow. They will now move into our Enterprise Zone with £25 million of investment that will massively contribute to Harlow being a showcase for business, jobs and apprenticeships. Pearson is helping to build an even better Harlow, championing education and apprenticeships and bringing jobs and businesses back to our town."