Northgate Information Systems ditches Buncefield head office

HR services firm Northgate Information Solutions has decided to abandon its Hemel Hempstead head office after it was partly destroyed by the explosion at Buncefield oil storage depot two months ago.

The company, which provides HR systems and services to some of the UK’s largest employers, had initially suggested it was not planning to return to the building for at least a year while it was rebuilt after the 12 December blast.

But Northgate said it had now instructed local agents to search for a new building within a 10- to 15-mile radius.

Executives were concerned that staff might not want to be relocated next door to the oil depot again, while the company accepted that official investigations into the cause of the blast will not be concluded for 18 months.

Northgate instituted a disaster recovery system after the blast, with staff working round the clock to re-establish 186 payroll clients to make sure everyone was paid before Christmas.

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