Work to start next month on new Zurich town centre office
Work to build a flagship office on Swindon’s Kimmerfields site will begin next month.Published: Monday, 20th July 2020
Leading insurer Zurich, one of the town’s major employers, announced this morning (20 July) that it has signed contracts with Skanska and work to build its new state-of-the-art offices will start in the next few weeks. The new-build will be the anchor project in the wider Kimmerfields scheme off Fleming Way.
Zurich is looking to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ on completion as well as minimising waste during construction and through the building’s life cycle. Work is due to be completed in 2022.
The building will provide over 100,000 sq ft of office space over six floors with a terrace and function space at roof level. It will play an important role in the ongoing regeneration of the town centre, providing over 950 staff with a modern workspace designed to enhance their wellbeing and the local environment.
The offices will be ‘single use plastic free’ with an ambition of having no printing or filing and the digitisation of all post. Electric car charging will also be installed for visitors. And to enhance the local environment, there are plans for a beehive on the roof terrace to boost biodiversity and produce honey to be sold and raise money for Zurich’s charitable arm the Zurich Community Trust.
A central feature will be an open atrium staircase to encourage more walking between floors. There will also be extra facilities for cyclists, to encourage more sustainable means of getting to and from work.
Working with the community is a key focus for the project and Zurich will be reaching out to local schools, colleges and community groups to create artwork via a competition to be displayed in the new building. The insurer will also be looking into opportunities for local college students to visit the site as part of its work with schools to inspire and engage young people about careers in insurance.
Zurich’s new Swindon offices will continue to house ZCT which recently announced a £2m support package for charities working to tackle the Covid crisis. This includes a £25,000 award to the Wiltshire Community Foundation. £134,000 has also been donated to local partner organisations including a number of projects in Swindon.
Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “Zurich’s decision to maintain its presence in Swindon is tremendous news for the town and a significant boost to our local economy. This is the first brand-new office block to be built in the town centre in a generation and is a real statement of intent, not to mention a show of faith, in our exciting vision to rejuvenate this particular area.
“This new striking building with its sustainable features will be a catalyst for further investment and build on our exciting plans for the Fleming Way Bus Boulevard and the adjacent Kimmerfields site.”
John Keppel, Zurich UK Chief Operating Officer said: “Swindon has been home to Zurich for over 30 years and we’re pleased to be playing our part in the regeneration of the town centre. The positive impact that our buildings can have on the environment and health and well-being of employees are a vital part of our sustainability agenda and sit at the heart of our new office design.
“We’ve great employees and we’re providing them with a workplace that suits their needs helping them to continue delivering great service to our customers while playing a valuable role in our local community."
Robert Buckland, MP said: “I’m delighted that contracts have been signed and work is to begin on the construction of Zurich’s new office at the Kimmerfields site which is a flagship element of the town centre’s regeneration scheme.
“Zurich’s commitment to Swindon is a testament to the skills and knowledge of the local workforce and I am confident that the new site will be at the centre of Swindon’s thriving and vibrant business district.”
Steve Holbrook, Skanska’s Managing Director, Building, said: “We are delighted to welcome Zurich as a customer, and to be part of their ongoing relationship with Swindon. The project is aiming to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and we will use innovative construction techniques to help them realise this ambition.”