One of Brighton’s biggest employers has been given the go-ahead for a £140m redevelopment of its city HQ.
More than 2,000 people work at the current building, Amex House in Edward Street.
The company can now build a replacement behind this, rising to nine floors, and with space for 3,000 staff.
Work is planned to begin in 2010 and should be completed in just over two years.
A condition of the approval by Brighton and Hove City Council is that the existing Amex House would be demolished.
The council says it green-lighted the scheme, which Amex says it needs to cope with the hi-tech demands of a 21st century business, as part of its priority to support the city’s economy.
Cabinet councillor for enterprise, employment and major projects Ted Kemble said: “It’s a tremendous day for the local economy and we should be proud of ourselves at securing investment every other UK city would envy.”
Speaking on her blog, council leader Mary Mears said: “
Raymond Joabar, senior vice president and country head, UK, American Express, said: “We are delighted to be have been given the go ahead to proceed with the project to improve our premises in Brighton.
“We are committed to building a longer term sustainable working environment for our employees in the city of Brighton and Hove.”
Amex have agreed to donate £3,000 to Carlton Hill Primary School to relocate its playground, which would be overshadowed by the extension, and improve facilities as one of the conditions of approval.
As well as the extra staff capacity the finished building will provide, the construction could also create more than 1,000 jobs.
This, together with Amex’s staff and its support of 75 non-Amex job brings £120m into the city every year, the council says.
The new building will be between four and nine storeys on land between John Street, Carlton Hill and Mighell Street.
There will also be a three-storey service building fronting Mighell Street, new vehicle access off John Street, 106 car parking spaces, replacing the same number lost, 132 cycle parking spaces and associated landscaping.