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Jonathan Wilson, Development Director, Citu & Nick Atkin, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Housing. Credit Simon Dewhurst

 

We’re excited to announce we’ve signed a 10-year lease that will see us move into the region’s first zero carbon office building, developed by Citu.   

It’s the next step for our ‘hub, home and roam’ working approach, which enables colleagues to work from home, out in their communities, a nearby café, a park, or from a central hub as part of our approach to deliver an increased range of services to customers. The move follows the sale of our previous city centre HQ, Dysons Chambers.   

The move to ‘The Place’, located in the Climate District of Leeds, will not only provide our colleagues with greater flexibility in how, where and when they work, but will also enable us to overhaul the service offer to our customers.  

The move will enable us to make savings which will be reinvested into new and existing homes as well as supporting our move to become a carbon neutral business. Low carbon building materials and processes are a feature of all Citu developments, and The Place includes solid cross-laminated timber floors, low energy timber-framed walls and cement-free concrete to minimise the carbon involved in its construction.  

Chief Executive Nick Atkin said: “We’re thrilled to be the first business to commit to a zero-carbon workspace here in Leeds. This move represents a remarkable milestone for Yorkshire Housing and the housing sector as a whole. We always intended to move to a flexible way of working and delivering services, however the pandemic has accelerated our plans.  

“This new approach will revolutionise the way we deliver services to our customers and by having an agile workforce we’re able to better meet their demands and respond more quickly to their needs at a time and place of their choosing.  

“At Yorkshire Housing work is something you do, not somewhere you go. Our hub, home and roam approach enables our colleagues to work anytime, anyplace, anywhere, including at our new hub here in Leeds.  

“By offering colleagues a more flexible working pattern that removes the need for unnecessary commuting, The Place allows us to make a significant contribution towards reducing our carbon footprint as well as providing a great place to come together and collaborate”.  

Our new hub has been designed to support innovation and collaboration between colleagues, and will include features such as an indoor garden, outdoor meeting and leisure area and breakout spaces that will create a working environment that is focused around wellbeing. Staff can also take advantage of the dedicated roof terrace which houses a multi-use games area, yoga spaces and ample space for space for events, exercise and socialising.  

Nina Evison, Director of People and Culture at Yorkshire Housing said: “Our colleagues have already felt the benefits of flexible working and the news we’ll soon be moving into the region’s first zero carbon office space is really exciting. It’s what our people have told us they want and we’re delighted to be able to deliver such an innovative space for our colleagues.  

“This won’t be a conventional office but an innovative, high-tech workspace where people come together to collaborate, share ideas and socialise, supported by a network of other local venues around the region.”  

We’ve already seen our gender pay gap reduce significantly over the last year, down from 9.5% to 1.15%. There’s some suggestion that our flexible approach to working may have contributed to this achievement.  

Nina Evison continued: “We’re giving colleagues a greater flexibility to arrange their working day around childcare or other commitments and we’ve embraced new technologies that enable us to connect anytime, anyplace and anywhere.  

“Hub, home and roam gives colleagues more control in how, where and when they work and we believe this provides a better work/life balance and strengthens our position as an employer of choice in the region.”.  

Jonathan Wilson, Development Director at Citu said: “The Place has been on the drawing board for over 5 years with the simple yet important principle to provide a healthier, positive environment for future focused companies looking to take a bold move to a new, sustainable lifestyle for both the business and its team.   

“With the building due to complete in just a few weeks, it’s fantastic to be announcing our first tenant. As with the homes at the Climate Innovation District, we wanted to attract businesses that share our mission to make a positive contribution to the local area and to the planet. Yorkshire Housing is doing exactly that, and the whole Citu team look forward to welcoming them as our neighbours when they move in next year.”  

We’ll be moving into our new hub in February 2022. The deal was managed by commercial agents, Fox Lloyd Jones.