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HMRC secures thirteenth Inclusive Environments success with Croydon retrofit

Posted: 11th September 2023

CIC has awarded HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) a record thirteenth ‘Inclusive Environments Recognition’ for their application of the CIC's Essential Principles for creating accessible and inclusive environments at their government hub in Croydon.

The Croydon hub success saw a retrofit of HMRC’s first new regional centre which opened in 2017, posing additional challenges compared to designing a new building with inclusivity in mind from the start. HMRC rose to this challenge proving their continued commitment to achieving the highest level of inclusivity possible, considering both the immediate challenges and the long-term benefits. Croydon was the first site where HMRC considered wellbeing and inclusivity benefits for building users by introducing amenity spaces such as Wellbeing, Recovery and Reflection Rooms. These have since been rolled out in all new projects receiving excellent feedback from users.

CIC’s ‘Inclusive Environments Recognition’ has a two-stage approach. The first recognises those organisations that are following the Essentials Principles Guide and honours them with a certificate valid for a five-year period, which HMRC was awarded in 2018. The second stage acknowledges individual buildings or projects undertaken by organisations that have already received recognition at an organisational level from CIC.

The Essential Principles Guide for Clients, Developers and Contractors was launched in 2018. In order for projects to be considered for recognition from CIC, organisations must submit the following evidence to show that they support the six essential principles:

  1. Appointment of an Inclusive Environmental Champion at Project Level
  2. Evidence that your Inclusive Design Strategy has been incorporated within the project brief and project budget
  3. An example of how the project procurement process has addressed inclusive design
  4. Evidence of the use of Access and Inclusive Design expertise and of consultation with diverse users
  5. Evidence of monitoring and appraisal of completed projects to assess outcomes and successes in creating accessible and inclusive environments
  6. List of any constraints that have prevented implementation of your Inclusive Design Strategy for example physical constraints of an existing building

Colin Cassé – Director of Estates & Locations Programme, HMRC, welcomed the latest recognition saying: “This unprecedented thirteenth CIC Inclusive Environments Recognition, for HMRC’s Croydon Regional Centre retrofit, demonstrates that our commitment to deliver truly inclusive workspaces doesn’t only apply to our newest buildings. Croydon is our final phase one government hub to receive this recognition. As our first Regional Centre to open, valuable lessons were learnt informing the inclusive design features of our later buildings. I am proud that our ambition to create great places to work, which are welcoming, inclusive and enable better flexibility to serve our customers, has been fully recognised by the CIC.”

CIC Chief Executive Graham Watts OBE commended HMRC saying, “A well-deserved record thirteenth recognition for HMRC at their hub in Croydon. As a retrofit this project provided an extra layer of complexity but once again HMRC rose to the challenge continuing to demonstrate their continued commitment to creating exemplar inclusive spaces.”

HMRC has already received CIC recognition for its Government Hubs at: 3 Arena Central – Birmingham; 3 Glass Wharf – Bristol; 7 & 8 Wellington Place – Leeds; India Buildings – Liverpool; Three New Bailey – Manchester; Unity Square – Nottingham; 14 Westfield Avenue – Stratford, London; and the UK Government Hubs: Ty William Morgan – Cardiff; Queen Elizabeth House – Edinburgh; 1 Atlantic Square – Glasgow; Erskine House – Belfast; and an HMRC Specialist Site at Teville Gate House - Worthing.

If you would like further information about the CIC Inclusive Environments Recognition Scheme please contact Liz Drummond at A full copy of the Essential Principles Guide for Creating Accessible and Inclusive Environments for clients, developers and contractors can be viewed here.