About the study
The feasibility study aimed to:
- provide a current structural and condition survey of the building, indicating costs for its proper conservation repair and subsequent conversion;
- establish an appropriate and sustainable future use for the site, which will also support the wider regeneration aims of the area;
- identify a way forward for the building that is deliverable in the short-term and sustainable in the long-term.
Conservation philosophy and architectural approach
Heritage Works has a conservation philosophy which it applies to all its projects and commissions. This is based on the concept of 'cultural significance', with the Trust's aim being to preserve and regenerate heritage assets of particular beauty, architectural and constructional interest so as to retain, reveal and enhance their cultural significance. This is achieved through the application of best practice of maintenance, repair, restoration and adaptation.
British Waterways' Heritage Policy is to ensure that the heritage of the waterways is treasured as a valued national asset, acknowledging that the careful protection and management of that heritage is an essential part of the ongoing work to achieve the organisation's vision.
The consultant team's approach to this feasibility study has been to gain an understanding of the cultural significance of the site and to establish broad principles for the protection and interpretation of that significance as the Canal Basin and Warehouse are changed and developed. These include:
- To retain and reveal the original purpose of the Warehouse by ensuring that the canal arm and train tracks within the building continue to be visible
- To retain the 'open barn' form and character of the main 1832 part of the Warehouse
- To recognise the historic function of the Warehouse as part of the wider canal basin and to find new uses for it that complement the modern recreational and commercial usage of the site
- To find a way of increasing the usage of the whole Warehouse and canal basin area, so that more people can enjoy, appreciate and understand them, whilst contributing to the site's economic well being and the regeneration of the wider neighbourhood.
Heritage Works Buildings Preservation Trust LtdHeritage Works is a registered charity that regenerates historic buildings whose cost of repair is uneconomic for the private sector. The Trust has considerable experience in developing strategies for the conservation and creative use of historic buildings, of fund-raising for projects and of implementing regeneration schemes. On account of this experience, and to fulfil its business plan to become a financially sustainable organisation, the Trust undertakes feasibility study commissions for local authorities and similar organisations. This commission has been project-managed by the Trust Director, Kate Dickson (who coincidentally was born in Whaley Bridge), with assistance from Steve Handley, Jennifer Gosling and Trustee Derek Cochrane.
Allen Tod Architecture
Allen Tod Architecture is an award-winning practice with a reputation for high quality design, frequently working in complex and historically sensitive environments. Its work includes arts, culture, housing, healthcare and leisure projects, creating buildings that address local regeneration aspirations, energy conservation, sustainability and accessibility for all. Allen Tod believes in learning from the past but looks to the future.
Allen Tod Architecture has completed numerous feasibility study commissions and specialist studies, working with Heritage Works most recently on a development strategy, conservation statement and options appraisal for listed and unlisted buildings in Halifax.
Recent historic building projects include the repair and extension of the Grade 1 listed Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond and the Vestry Hall community centre in Sheffield.
The study team also included Bernard Williams Associates, Quantity Surveyors, who provided cost advice, Ramboll Whitbybird Structural Engineers and Oxford Archaeology North. A local project office and shop window space was provided by Mattin MacLean Architects. The project website was developed and maintained by Simian Webworks.