Number One Kirkstall Forge: a gold standard bike friendly business

Property developers, CEG, are proud to have achieved gold standard Bike Friendly Business accreditation from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme for Number One Kirkstall Forge.

CEG’s development is the sixth business to be accredited as gold standard. The award not only reflects the development’s fantastic bike facilities, including parking, showers and drying facilities, but also their great efforts to create a buzz around cycling at the development.

Previously bronze standard, Number One Kirkstall Forge is benefitting from grant funding, advice and support from CityConnect on how to engage with the community within the building and encourage cycling. An active employee bike club, regular free bike maintenance and competitions such as the free Love2Ride cycle challenge are just some of the initiatives underway.

With Kirkstall Forge’s stylish shared bikes, it’s easy for staff to ride to meetings or enjoy for recreation. They can take advantage of the £2 million upgrade to the nearby Kirkstall to Shipley canal towpath, completed in spring 2016 by the first phase of the CityConnect programme.

This is just one of the ways that the Combined Authority has supported the planned Kirkstall Forge ‘urban village’.

The Combined Authority, in partnership with Leeds City Council, Network Rail and Number One, provided a £5 million loan from the Growing Places Fund to enable early delivery of a new rail station at Kirkstall Forge.

The new station opened in June 2016, and now offers a twice hourly service. This helped to unlock the site and CEG commenced delivery of the first commercial building which is now home to CEG, car leasing firm, Zenith and Butlers bar / restaurant.

The Combined Authority works in partnership with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to support growing businesses in the Leeds City Region. With £143,340 grant funding from the LEP, Zenith fitted out their purpose built working environment. The grant is expected to enable the creation of 111 new jobs.

Next, the Combined Authority’s Travel Plan Network supported creation of a site specific sustainable travel plan, complete with flexible working patterns to suit public transport timetables and a car share plan. They ran travel planning roadshows to support staff in finding sustainable travel choices, with a free 1-month M-card to try using the bus or train.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Chair of the new NP11 Board said: “Kirkstall Forge is a prime example of smart regeneration. Since the offices have launched they’ve won numerous awards including being the first building in Leeds to be recognised with a Platinium certification by Wired Score for digital connectivity.

“It’s fantastic that now the development has also been recognised for it’s bike facilities. I hope that other businesses and developers in the region will continue to embrace sustainable travel planning.”

Emma Clarkson, from CEG is the Estates Manager Kirkstall Forge. She said: "At Kirkstall Forge, sustainability and active travel are part and parcel of everyday life.

“The support we've received from the Combined Authority, prior to and following the opening of Number One Kirkstall Forge has been invaluable in supplementing our travel planning programme, which includes a wide range of initiatives to encourage and support employees to car share, catch the bus or train, cycle, walk, scoot or run to work."

Ultimately, Kirkstall Forge will become a thriving mixed community, master planned by award-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with 1,050 new family homes, 420,000 sq ft of office space, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.

To find out more about the support available for businesses in Leeds City Region speak to our Businsess Growth Service on 0113 348 1818 or email businessgrowth@the-lep.com

The CityConnect Bike Friendly Business scheme of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has been running since June 2016. Our ambition is to engage with 250 business. Grant funding up to £5,000 is available for each business to support and encourage cycling.

To find out how CityConnect can help your businesses be more cycle friendly visit: https://cyclecityconnect.co.uk/get-active/working-with-business/