The Co-operative Bank (Comms Room Relocation)

Case Study


The Co-operative Bank are the original ethical Bank. Founded in 1872 and with its headquarters in Central Manchester, they now have over 3.2 million personal customers, 95,000 commercial clients and 50 branches across the UK. No. 1 Balloon Street has been the home of the Co-operative Bank for many years. The offices are in a recently renovated eight floor building in the heart of Manchester.

The Brief

As hybrid working is becoming increasingly popular, The Co-operative Bank have decided to move to a more flexible way of working, allowing staff to work from home for part of their working week. With these changes the decision was made by the bank to reduce the number of floors occupied, and hand five out of the eight floors back to the landlord.

The Co-operative Banks’ main core communications room was located on the 4th floor which was one of the floors due to be relinquished. These works came with a great deal of challenges as all main core network equipment, incoming network services along with diverse fibre links to each of the buildings’ 14No edge cabinets were presented in this core room.

The Project

Sudlows were tasked with replicating the core room in a new dedicated facility in the basement. The installation consisted of 6No new 800mm x 1200mm server cabinets, diverse fibres to all remaining Co-operative Bank edge cabinets and 144 Cat6a copper interlinks between the new cabinets.

Once the new room was built and all cabling installed and tested Sudlows assisted with the equipment move including main server stack from old to new core room. These works took place over a weekend and were completed without issue and the Banks’ systems were fully functional for Monday morning trading.

Sudlows were then tasked with decommissioning numerous systems in the old comms room such as; air conditioning, access control systems, room PDU and all legacy fibre that formed part of the bank network.

These works were designed, installed, and completed within a two-month window.


Ben Downer, Service Delivery Lead at The Co-operative Bank, said;

“The Co-operative Bank has relied upon Sudlows for technical support with its IT infrastructure for a number of years and 2021 was no exception.

“In a year when COVID has forced the Bank to rapidly react & adapt to new ways of working, Sudlows have stepped up at short notice to facilitate much of the technological change.

“Not only have Sudlows completely reengineered the complex IT network in our HQ building whilst it’s been fully operational and with no interruption to normal service, they also provided much of the technical resource needed to enable the movement of desktop hardware, all of which was completed out of hours and again at very short notice.

“The work was promptly delivered within the deadline to the satisfaction of all involved. In doing so, Sudlows demonstrated a level of agility & flexibility that is rare in this marketplace and turned what was a critical problem into an improved outcome.

“Needless to say we’re now in serious discussions about other ways that Sudlows can widen their support package to the Bank throughout its estate.”


Manchester, UK


Banking & Finance


8 Weeks

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