Belfast’s £85m new office development, The Ewart, is awarded a Gold standard Cycle Friendly accreditation

The Ewart, one of Belfast’s most significant and sustainable new office developments, has received a Gold standard in Cycling UK’s Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation for Developments (CFE-UK).

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 1:30 pm

The Ewart, one of Belfast’s most significant and sustainable new office developments, has received a Gold standard in Cycling UK’s Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation for Developments (CFE-UK).

Having completed the accreditation as part of an LQ BID initiative supporting businesses to become more cycle-friendly, the Ewart will provide the largest covered cycling provision within any Northern Ireland Grade A office to date.

The Ewart will also be the first grade A office building, ever, to achieve this standard both in the UK and across the whole European-wide consortium that delivers the cycle-friendly employer accreditation.

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Pictured at the £85m Ewart in Belfast, the first Grade A listed building ever to achieve Cycling UK’s Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation for Developments is Paul Beacom, MRP, James Palser of Cycling UK and Eamon Butler, CBRE NI

The internationally recognised standard, for workplace cycling, is the only accreditation where organisations must meet a range of measures to demonstrate they are cycle-friendly.

Upon practical completion in January 2022, the contemporary Ewart building will support the vision for a more sustainable working environment and city, with generous provision for cyclists including storage capacity for 124 bicycles in the basement, lockers and shower facilities on the ground floor.

One of the most important and historic architectural landmarks on Belfast’s skyline, The Ewart at 17-storeys high, is the final phase of developer MRP’s Bedford Square development which is being constructed by local Design & Build Construction Partner McAleer & Rushe.

The £85m 210,000 sq. ft Grade A listed office project, is set to accommodate 2,500 people when fully occupied.

Commenting on the accreditation, Paul Beacom from MRP, said: “The Ewart has been designed to incorporate a range of facilities and amenities that promote health and well-being in the workplace.

“Post pandemic there is more focus on healthy lifestyles and sustainable working environments.

“The cycling, shower and changing facilities in The Ewart are already receiving very positive feedback from prospective occupiers.

“These types of facilities are of increasing importance in not only encouraging staff to return to the office, but it can help increase productivity working in a pleasant and high-quality work environment.

“The Ewart, has incorporated a vibrant and sustainable working environment for the future and we look forward to its cycling facilities not only inspiring office staff to cycle to work and support sustainable travel, but helping to improve their health and well-being.”

James Palser of Cycling UK, continued: “The Ewart and its developers have made a fantastic commitment to active travel in Belfast, enabling and encouraging its commuters to choose a carbon-free commute.

“From the beginning, a cycling culture will be built through excellent parking facilities, regular cycling activities and even maintenance equipment to keep cycles in the best condition.

“People who cycle to work don’t only help the environment, they enjoy lower travel costs and improved health, both physical and mental.

“With long-term support from Cycling UK through gold cycle-friendly accreditation, we hope that The Ewart will provide the benchmark for cycle-friendly buildings in the city.

“Cycling UK has partnered with the Linen Quarter Business Improvement District (LQ BID) to help businesses across Belfast’s Linen Quarter to promote active travel and gain recognition as Cycle Friendly Employers.”

Encouraging more Northern Ireland businesses to consider this same step, Chris McCracken, managing director of LQ BID, added: “We are delighted that MRP has secured the prestigious gold cycling award for its new development at The Ewart, and that all incoming tenants will automatically benefit from this accreditation.

“We welcome the support of MRP in making the Linen Quarter a pro-cycling district and encouraging the shift into active travel for all the health and wellbeing benefits this brings.

“Many staff want to see this sort of support from their employers, and so we encourage more businesses to consider this same step.

“The independent accreditation programme organised and facilitated by Linen Quarter BID, in partnership with Cycling UK, is an effective way to help develop more resilient organisations within a more sustainable city.”

Set in the heart of the central business district, The Ewart is only a short walk from City Hall, main transport hubs, shops, bars, restaurants and hotels.

The finished offices will be part occupied by Deloitte Northern Ireland with a further 124,000 sq ft for tenants seeking high quality workspace in the prime office core of the City.

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