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The Street

[The camera enters through the doors to start a virtual tour of ‘The Doughnut’, the headquarters of GCHQ. The word ‘welcome’ appears on a box on the screen.]

Narrator: I know, at first glance it looks quite…ordinary, right? But trust me, there’s far more than meets the eye. Let’s take a stroll, and I’ll tell you about what it’s like here.

[The welcome message disappears from the screen, and the camera begins to move through the building. Ahead is what looks like a long, wide corridor with groups of blue seats to the side. The footsteps of the virtual tour guide can be heard.]

Narrator: Obviously, it’s not usually this quiet. There are a few things we can’t show you, our people included. Most of the time, it sounds a bit like this:

Narrator: Okay. This is ‘The street’. Chance encounters happen all the time, which is exactly what it was designed for. We’re all security cleared here, so people have informal meetings over coffee or as they meander along.

[A floor plan of The Doughnut appears in a box on screen. The camera continues to move through the building.]

Narrator: Every nook, cranny and crumb of ‘The Doughnut’ was carefully considered. When we moved in, it was the first time all our teams were under one roof – a recyclable roof at that. This new togetherness helped us reshape our culture: to become more open and collaborative.

[An arrow pointing left appears in a box on the screen. 13 interlinked boxes appear on the screen one by one with icons in that represent different teams.]

Narrator: Those doors on your left? They lead to office space – all open plan – so teams can work together side by side, sharing experiences and expertise. Because, in our world, teamwork is vital.

[As the camera moves through the building, circles appear on screen, with arrows indicating the location of food and drink spots and a bar.]

Over there you’ll find some spots to grab food or drinks. Once a week, there’s even a bar – yes, a bar. I know!

[A third circle appears with an image of a cake, pointing to the location of the charity bake sales.]

Narrator: And we also have pop-up charity cake sales from time to time. We’ve raised thousands of pounds for causes we care about over the years.

[Four clocks appear one by one on the wall, showing the time zones in New York, London, Moscow and Tokyo. More silhouettes of people continue to appear.]

Narrator: On the upper floors – that’s where we do most of our operational work – countering terrorism, disrupting organised crime and protecting the UK from cyber threats. 24 hours a day. It’s a busy area – but, sadly, not one we can show you.

[Another box appears on screen containing a floor plan of ‘The Doughnut’. Inside is an image of a paper folder, that turns into a padlock.]

Narrator: Actually, that reminds me: the whole building’s designed so secret intelligence stays exactly that – secret. But without losing that sense of space and openness.

[As we continue to move through the building, more silhouettes appear. Circles appear above their heads containing ticking clocks.]

Narrator: Everyone works in their own way, pretty sensible really. We all think differently, we’re all productive in different ways and we all have our own lives, so we all work to patterns that suit us. Of course, sometimes the hours have to be a bit longer or the patterns more structured, but we’re as flexible as possible.

[A world map appears on screen.]

Narrator: One thing’s for sure: we all understand the responsibility of what we do. We’re ordinary people. We’re not all geniuses. We didn’t get tapped on the shoulder.

[The camera’s movement through the building stops. A large circle appears on screen, containing a map of the UK. The sound of the bustling Street fades.]

Narrator: But we’re united by an extra-ordinary purpose – helping to keep you, and all of the UK, safe.