Ecclesiastical has finished construction and fit out of its new headquarters at Gloucester Business Park, with essential staff having moved into the new workplace, known as Benefact House.
The construction took 18 months, most of it taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, but delays were minimal, according to Ecclesiastical. Work began in May 2019, with the offices built to BREEAM sustainability standards, including solar panels installed on the roof and charging points for electric vehicles. It has 500 parking spaces for employees and visitors, and can accommodate all of the company’s Gloucester-based teams.
In light of the pandemic, the building’s interior has been fitted by leading specialists Overbury, which have helped design a modern office that takes into account the UK government’s guidance on social distancing.
The facility was designed to a FitWel standard, which aims to create a healthy workplace. Features include live plants, natural lighting, a variety of flexible work spaces and healthy food choices at the staff restaurant.
Ecclesiastical also worked closely with Hucclecote Parish Council and housing developers to improve the local environment, with further plans to install a fitness trail and benches for benefit of the local community.
“Despite colleagues having moved to home working incredibly effectively it is by no means the norm,” said Caroline Taplin, group HR director of Ecclesiastical and project sponsor. “A physical space will continue to play a crucial role in how we work going forward and we have been able to look at how flexible working may look in the future and bring elements of this into the design.
“It is a fantastic achievement to have completed the project, particularly given the challenges of working in a COVID-19 secure way.”
Ecclesiastical, which has been based in Gloucester since the 1970s, has strong links to the city and has committed to remain in the area. Its former offices at Beaufort House will continue to be cleared out until the end of the financial year.