Canon is to close and sell its Reigate site during the course of the next 12 months, as it moves its UK and Ireland headquarters to Uxbridge.
Uxbridge is where Canon’s larger Europe, Middle East and Asia HQ is already based.
Canon has said that the move to Uxbridge is the result of a proposed outsourcing in some of the firm’s departments that will cause the Reigate site to have “over-capacity”.
The company came to Reigate around 20 years ago, with 450 staff currently based at the purpose-built site off Cockshot Hill, Woodhatch.
MP for Reigate, Crispin Blunt, has expressed “great disappointment” at news of the closure.
He said: “The move to Uxbridge is not the result of any negative business conditions in Reigate, but simply that the company has decided to consolidate its two existing headquarters into the larger of the two sites. There are currently around 750 staff in Uxbridge.
“In many ways, Canon has been a model employer which has not only contributed to local employment, but has also had a very positive approach to its local corporate social responsibility commitments.
“It has worked in close partnership with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and with my office, to capture as many local mutual benefits as possible. It has also opened up its office space to community organisations for meetings and events. This makes its departure even more disappointing.
“The Canon HQ building will be put up for sale and I very much hope will find a buyer of a similar calibre.”
The MP also said the move would “result in the relocation or redundancy of 450 staff from Reigate within the next 12 months.”
Asked whether that was correct, a Canon spokesperson said: “We have approximately 450 employees officially based at Woodhatch – approximately 27% of our UK & Ireland population.
“We are now in consultation with Woodhatch employees on role relocation. Until that process is finalised, we are unable to provide further details on redundancies.”
Canon moved into its Reigate home on the side of Cockshot Hill at the turn of the millennium. The Duke of Edinburgh opened the new building in 2000, and since then it’s won a number of awards for its design and environmentally-friendly features, including one from the Reigate Society.
The company’s decision to leave Reigate follows a move to an outsourcing model for some departments in finance, business operations and customer services, which Canon says will allow it to focus on core business activities, while ensuring a better focus on customers and improved response times.
Yusuke Mizoguchi, managing director of Canon UK & Ireland, said of the Uxbridge decision: “Having a joint location will enable us to look for opportunities to share resources and run a more efficient organisation which will also create some broader group opportunities for some of our UK employees.”