Minister opens new shared office for Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage

date13 May 2015

Scottish Government Minister Aileen McLeod MSP today (13 May) opened Strathallan House, a new shared office in Stirling for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Scottish Government Minister Aileen McLeod MSP today (13 May) opened Strathallan House, a new shared office in Stirling for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The new office, located in Stirling’s Castle Business Park, brings together two public bodies with shared interests and supports Scottish Government’s drive for public bodies to deliver environmental and efficiency savings by sharing office space and facilities.

As organisations responsible for protecting the environment, SEPA and SNH are keen to realise environmental and cost benefits. Solar panels are located on two roofs and inside LED lighting controlled by ambient light and occupancy sensors are used wherever possible. Recycled and second-hand materials from former properties including re-using desks from former occupants of the building were also used in kitting out the new property.

Outside the building, the environmental drive continues with rotating composting machines and wormeries to deal with food waste as well as priority parking spaces for those who can share the commute to work, and cycle racks to encourage staff to minimise their carbon footprint even further.

However it is the sharing of resources within the new environmental friendly office that will bring the most immediate benefits and this was particularly welcomed by the Scottish Government Minister on her visit to Stirling.

The Minister was welcomed by Mr Terry A'Hearn, Chief Executive of SEPA and she heard how the new office brought together a wide range of staff and functions and was a key element of SEPA’s aspirations for high performance.

Mr A’Hearn said:

“Strathallan House brings staff from SEPA together with colleagues from Scottish Natural Heritage, in excellent working environments which also help reduce costs and increase energy efficiency.

“Equally importantly these facilities are now supporting and encouraging collaborative and partnership working, engendering new approaches to how we work and how we do business.

Mr A’Hearn continued: “In keeping with our Estate and People strategy we will explore further opportunities to create equally good workplaces for all our staff, wherever possible co-locating with partner organisations to maximise the benefits and efficiencies.”

Andrew Bachell, Director of Policy and Advice for Scottish Natural Heritage also welcomed the opportunities the new location brought:

“SNH and SEPA share a duty to help maintain our environment as one of Scotland’s greatest assets. Working together in the one building means being more efficient and keeps our costs down and it means that we can offer a single clear service to customers; developers, land and site managers, local authorities and communities.

“In Stirling we have staff who provide a local service in East Central Scotland and staff who provide guidance and advice across Scotland. Talking to colleagues in SEPA helps us all to understand the wide range of issues that our customers have and will ensure a joined up service that best serves people, nature and the environment.”

Commenting as she toured the building, Aileen McLeod MSP, the Minister for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform, congratulated SEPA and Scottish National Heritage on their new offices and said:

“I’m delighted to open this new shared office, your organisations already work together closely and sharing office space will help foster further cooperation and partnership.

“The public estate has an important role in helping to address climate change and this building, with its energy efficiency measures, will play its part in helping Scotland to achieve a sustainable, low carbon future.”