Over spring 2019, Dundee Rep is undertook a series of improvements to its cycling facilities, particularly enabling staff and visitors to travel to the venue by low carbon means. Jaci, Green Champion of the Rep, tells us more about what they did.
Introduction of Works
Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre has been working hard to increase its green credentials. The theatre is part of the Green Tourism Business Scheme and is currently rated ‘Gold’, but one of the areas we need to improve is our transport links.
As we are a city centre venue, it is difficult to get parking for cars, so we want to encourage staff and visitors to cycle to our venue. However, our facilities for safe storage of bikes were not good for a number of reasons:
- We had a 5-bike rack without shelter from the elements. This meant that in the colder months staff brought their bikes into the building, causing a fire hazard and blocking routes and equipment.
- The facility was not secure, which gave staff the concern that their bikes will be stolen.
We therefore aimed to give our visitors a secure sheltered storage area for bikes, but also allow our staff to cycle to work with the facilities to shower and change into working clothes and vice versa.
Towards this, we identified a number of actions:
- To encourage our visitors to cycle by adding the information to our website and social media pages.
- To add directional signage to our building to allow visitors to find the shelter easily.
- To re-utilised our old bike rack, re-situating it at the front of the theatre in a covered space.
- To add a set of lockers to our public ground floor bathrooms so that cycling gear can be locked away during users’ time at the Rep.
The area under consideration was our courtyard, to the side of the building, which is accessible to all staff and visitors. The design was created to fit this space and to be covered by CCTV to add further security.
We installed a 2 tier system for 20 bikes, which is be bolted to the ground and fully enclosed to protect the bikes from all weather. The cycle shelter is made from a steel structure and poly-carbonate panels all round. To access the cycle shelter we installed a cycle ramp to the steps from the upper level to allow for easier manual handling.
In addition, we have three areas that have available for cycling changing rooms. Each has a shower and locker facilities, and we aim to make the areas more welcoming for cycle users and to encourage more people to cycle.
Changing Area 1- The Back Stairs
- All changing rooms were re-painted, with nice cycling transfers on the main wall.
- New coin return lockers were purchased and installed.
- New rails were added to allow outdoor clothes to be hung to dry if wet.
- Each shower room was spruced up with new modesty doors, storage caddies and new shower curtain.
Changing Area 2- The Scottish Dance Theatre Changing rooms
As the majority of SDT dancer’s cycle to work anyway, we improved both the ladies and gents changing rooms with new paint, lockers and general tidy.
Changing Area 3- The Ground Floor Changing Area
This space was completely cleared to allow for a full paint refurbish, including a ‘wet wall’ within the shower room, re-grouted tiling and a new shower curtain. Retaining existing lockers and adding storage racks and rails enable storage and drying of clothes and towels.
Funding from Cycling Scotland
National charity Cycling Scotland support employers like Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre (and previously WASPS Artists Studios) to fund improvements to their building to encourage more staff to cycle to work through the Cycle Friendly Employer Development Fund. More information can be found on their website.
Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre are a member of our Green Arts Initiative: a growing networked community of practice of 220 Scottish cultural organisations committed to reducing their environmental impact. It is free to become part of the community, and there are lots of resources and case studies (like this one!) to support #GreenArts organisations. Take a look at Creative Carbon Scotland's Green Arts Initiative page for more information.
First published by Creative Carbon Scotland 2019.