Recent studies and commissions

This page provides examples of recent Creative Heritage projects commissioned by clients from the:

Private Sector

Manchester Gin, Watson Street, Manchester

CLIENT: Manchester Gin

Manchester Gin
Three Little Words, Manchester Gin distillery, bar and restaurant

Creative Heritage Consultants were appointed to provide heritage advice during the development of design proposals for the repair and conversion of six former railway arches on Watson Street into a distillery, bar and restaurant. The arches form part of the undercroft to the Manchester Central complex, a grade 2* listed heritage asset of exceptionally high significance. Alterations included the demolition of insensitive adaptations, brickwork cleaning and repointing internally, installation of new glazing and entrance door screens, dry-lining in selected areas and new M&E services.  The heritage impact assessment report formed part of a successful planning and listed building consent application submitted by Up North Architects. Three Little Words has quickly become a hip venue, rejuvenating this part of the city.

Brownsfield Mill, Northern Quarter, Manchester

CLIENT: urban splash

View of Brownsfield Mill in the Northern Quarter of Manchester (before residential conversion)

We were pleased to work with architects StephensonSTUDIO and developer Urban Splash, as they developed a scheme for the residential conversion on this grade 2* listed former cotton spinning mill on the Rochdale Canal near Ancoats, Manchester. Originally built by the Leech family in around 1840, it is an excellent example of a well-preserved ‘room and power’ mill of ‘heavy-floored’ construction (using layers of thick floorboards rather than secondary joists between the floor beams). It is also significant on account of its completeness, its integral engine house, its internal mill chimney around which a spiral staircase winds, its split-level courtyard and its connection with AV Roe & Co, who built bi-planes inside the building in the early 20th century! The building was mothballed in 2008 by Town Centre Securities PLC, who undertook extensive repair of the external fabric and internal structure. Our Heritage Impact Assessment formed part of a successful application for planning and listed building consent for conversion to generous loft-style apartments. The development is currently being marketed as Avro Lofts

Spital Buildings, Castleton, Derbyshire

CLIENT: Private individual

Spital Buildings, Castleton, in the Derbyshire Peak District
View of the farm buildings and ruinous mill, known as Spital Buildings, on the edge of Castleton in the Peak District

Some projects are such a joy that they don’t feel like work! We thoroughly enjoyed researching the history of this ruined late 18th century textile mill in the Peak District of Derbyshire, and working with Peak Architects and Capstone Consulting as they developed proposals for its stabilisation as part of a residential conversion scheme. We identified the historic significance of the listed mill and attached later farm buildings and facilitated an archaeological building recording, undertaken by Salford Archaeology. The Heritage Impact Assessment & Planning Statement we prepared was used to support a successful application to the Peak District National Planning Authority for Listed Building Consent.

Tariff Street, Piccadilly Basin, Manchester: Heritage Impact Assessment

Client: Town Centre Securities PLC & GMI Construction Group PLC

Piccadilly basin, regeneration zone
Computer-generated image the proposed Tariff Street development, in Piccadilly Basin, Manchester, designed by Ian Simpson Architects, with the grade 2* listed Jackson’s Warehouse beyond (© Our Studio)

This study was commissioned to identify the key heritage assets that might be affected by an 11-storey residential development adjacent to the Rochdale Canal in the sensitive Piccadilly Basin regeneration area and to assist the planning authority in considering the impact of the proposals on those assets. Designed by Ian Simpson Architects, the new building is to be located within ten metres of the grade 2* listed Jackson’s Warehouse, and in the immediate vicinity of the highly designated Brownsfield Mill, Carver’s Warehouse and the ‘mill wall of Ancoats’. The process of developing the design and the heritage impact assessment was an iterative one, with Creative Heritage participating fully in design discussions from an early stage, enabling a greater understanding of the heritage significance of the area to influence positively the scheme development. The final report, which was submitted as a supporting document to the planning application, considered the significance and townscape qualities of the key assets using desk based research and analysis on site, and explored the effect of the development as it may appear in key ‘heritage views’, using computer generated architectural modelling. Planning consent was secured in September 2014.

Voluntary sector

Viability Study for Tooleys Boatyard, Banbury

Client: Tooley’s Boatyard Trust

Tooleys Boatyard- the Dry Dock ©ATA

The dry dock at Tooley’s Boatyard on the Oxford Canal has been in use since the 1780s.  Now the scheduled monument, part of a working boatyard, is a hidden gem, surrounded by modern retail that turns its back on the canal. The partners in Banbury are transforming the town, with new leisure developments and an enthusiasm to make the canal a focus for a regenerated town centre. A Trust has been formed to enable Tooley’s to increase the welcome it gives to visitors whilst supporting its on-going commercial activity.  Andrew Townsend Architects have been engaged to lead a viability study funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund, and Creative Heritage is consulting audience about how the site can be interpreted and the role it can play in wider regeneration, alongside exploring the market demand for the visitor attraction.  An outline interpretation plan is being developed by Exhibition Plus.

Tooleys Boatyard & Castle Quay Shopping Centre

A consultation event will take place in Banbury on 23 January 2020.  To find out more about the project, please see the information sheet here.

Please complete one of our questionnaires:

Questions for local organisations, as a PDF for printing, or as a word document to complete on line.

Questions for local businesses, as a PDF for printing, or as a Word document to complete on line.

Property and Asset Income Generation Strategy

Client: Port Sunlight Village Trust

The Lyceum, built as a school and now a social club and halls for education and events

Port Sunlight was founded in 1888 by the industrialist William Lever and is arguably one of the finest surviving examples of an industrial worker village in the UK. Lever wanted to provide the employees of his new Lever Brothers soap works with decent and affordable housing and a wide range of facilities to ensure the well-being and advancement of the workers and their families. The legacy of a large number of non-residential community buildings in a village of around 2000 people presents a challenge for Port Sunlight Village Trust. Creative Heritage is pleased to be working with Sara Hilton Associates and Keppie Massie Ltd to develop a strategy for these assets to enable them to contribute to the vision to make Port Sunlight ‘an inspiring place to live, work and visit’. The study is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the Trust’s ‘Brighter Future’ project.

National Lottery Heritage Fund Capacity & Resilience project

CLIENT: Ravenstone Hospital Almshouse Charity

Ravenstone Hospital
Photograph of inner quadrangle and former laundry of Ravenstone Hospital

Creative Heritage has been appointed by the Trustees of Ravenstone Hospital to provide specialist support in three areas of development as part of an initiative funded by the NLHF. The commission, which will also involve Architects Oliver Architecture Ltd, involves undertaking a Condition Survey and Conservation Management Plan, a governance and trustee skills review and finally a Preliminary Options Study for the site, including some community engagement  and consultation that can be used to inform a future heritage masterplan activity strategy.

The Old Grammar School, Richmond, North Yorkshire

CLIENT: Richmondshire building preservation trust

The Old Grammar School, Richmond, from the Batts, which is to be restored by the Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust and converted to a community hub

Creative Heritage has been appointed as project managers for this exciting scheme to create a vibrant community hub. Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust has been awarded a ‘round one pass’ from the Heritage Lottery Fund, under the Heritage Enterprise programme, with development funding. This is matched by a grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund to help progress plans towards making a round two application in Spring 2019. Richmondshire District Council and North Yorkshire County Council are also supporting the project.
The project aims to protect and conserve and repair Richmond’s 19th century former Grammar School, a grade 2 listed building which has been unused since 2011, and convert it to economically viable new uses around an arts and education theme. A multi-use community hall and function room in the main hall and former art room, on the upper floor of the building, will be supported by commercial enterprises on the lower ground floor, overlooking the River Swale and spilling out onto the Batts. Income-generating uses under consideration include a small independent hostel, offices for community organisations, a second-hand bookshop and café.

New Audiences, New Experiences

CLIENT: Manchester Jewish museum

Located within the grade 2* former Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue on Cheetham Hill Road,

Architect's image of proposed extension to Manchester Jewish Museum
Architect’s computer-generated image of extension proposals by night. © Citizens Design Bureau 2017

Manchester Jewish Museum is about to undergo a major redevelopment, with a planned extension to house a new permanent gallery, as well as other facilities. These changes will further establish the Museum’s place within an international network of museums, memorials and visitor experiences that explore Jewish history and heritage and what it is to be Jewish in the 21st century.

Manchester Jewish Museum will be a cultural exchange where the stories, objects, food, music, skills and culture of Manchester’s Jews are shared with our diverse audiences.

Working with Museum staff and Trustees, architects Citizens Design Bureau and interpretative exhibition designers All Things, Creative Heritage provided project management services for the development of a successful round 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for this £5m transformational project.

Feasibility Study: Increasing Audiences, Securing Long Term Sustainability for Markfield Beam Engine and Museum, Tottenham, North London

CLIENT: Trustees of markfield beam engine and Museum

Markfield Beam Engine, former sewage pumping engine in TottenhamThis 2016 study involved extensive consultation to identify the ‘market’ for this working beam engine and the themes for its interpretation. The far-reaching review considered opportunities for partnership working with other industrial heritage sites, architectural options for providing learning and exhibition space, business planning and delivery issues and governance requirements.  The Trustees – including new volunteers recruited through the study – are currently pursuing our recommended ‘next steps’ to achieve their aim to make the Museum and its supporting organisation financially viable and sustainable in the short, medium and long-term.

Coffin Fitting Works project management

Client: Birmingham Conservation Trust

CRW2 - exteriorAn extraordinary survivor on the fringe of the Jewellery Quarter, Newman Brothers’ Coffin Fitting Works was acquired by Birmingham Conservation Trust in 2010, eleven years after the workers closed the door for the last time, leaving behind them the machinery, stock and administrative records of the company stretching back over one hundred years. Most of the moveable contents were taken into storage to facilitate a full restoration of the buildings, which was completed in August 2014, thanks to grant funding totalling over £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, Birmingham City Council and a large number of charitable trusts. Kate Dickson provided project management services for the capital works phase, including design team management, coordination of community engagement activities during the build contract, budget control, change management, risk assessment and liaison with funders. Funds were drawn down in monthly and quarterly claims and cash flow was maintained rics-awardthanks to a Birmingham City Council interest-free working capital loan. The Coffin Works is a visitor attraction (see coffinworks.org) and provides lettable studio space for several creative businesses as well as office accommodation for Birmingham Conservation Trust. In its first year of opening, it has consistently been voted the Number 1 museum in Birmingham on Trip Advisor. The project won RICS West Midlands 2015 Awards for Conservation and for Tourism & Leisure.

 Public sector

Buxton Cultural Heritage Assets Review

CLIENT: HIGH PEAK BOROUGH COUNCIL

Buxton Opera House
Buxton Opera House

Creative Heritage were commissioned by High Peak Borough Council(funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund) to undertake a review of a number of key local heritage assets, including the Pavilion Gardens complex (conservatory cafés, arts centre and registered park), the County Council’s Art Gallery & Museum, the Opera House. Using our extensive knowledge and contacts in the sector, we explored management models across a wide range of Council-owned and volunteer-managed sites, across the UK.  We undertook in-depth consultations with colleagues across the public, private and voluntary sectors, including venue operators providing benchmarks. The commission resulted in a report which provided several strategic recommendations. Including a phased approach to develop a new ‘culture and heritage trust’ to take on responsibility for the key cultural and heritage assets, as well as the establishment of a new ‘cultural forum’ to coordinate and publicise the activities of cultural organisations from all sectors across the town.  The Visitor Economy Strategy is now being implemented, boosted by a stage one award from the Future High Streets Fund.

Buxton Crescent Heritage Skills programme

CLIENT: VINCI CONSTRUCTION UK, WITH BUXTON CRESCENT & THERMAL SPA LTD

Buxton & Leek College students on the Buxton Crescent construction site during a Heritage Skills taster day

We are delighted to be delivering a number of heritage skills taster days at this very significant building conservation and regeneration project, to enable local people to gain an insight into the specialist skills being deployed. Developed in conjunction with the main contractor, Vinci, the skills sessions for local building tradesmen, construction college students and Buxton homeowners, involve tours of the construction site to meet the specialist subcontractors engaged on the project. They offer a chance to handle traditional building materials and ask questions about the techniques being used to conserve this important grade 1 listed building. The £52m project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, D2N2, High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council and the private sector developer, Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa Ltd. A short video of the first skills day for local building tradesmen has been created by local media expert, Andy Parker, and provides an evaluation of this thoroughly enjoyable day.

Mansfield Townscape Heritage

CLIENT: mansfield district COUNCIL

Image of Leeming Street in 1979, courtesy of Nottinghamshire County Council and www.picturethepast.org.uk

Following our success in developing proposals for the Carrington Street Area Townscape Heritage project in Nottingham, we were delighted to be appointed to assist Mansfield District Council in the preparation of a round 2 Heritage Lottery Fund application for a Townscape Heritage scheme for Leeming Street and part of the Market Place and Stockwell Gate in Mansfield town centre. Largely developed at the turn of the 20th century, Leeming Street has a strong Edwardian architectural quality, with a range of independent shops. If the bid is successful, grants will be made available to property owners for the repair and conservation of quirky ‘vintage’ shopfronts from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, as well as for Edwardian originals. New traditional-style shopfronts and upper floor windows may be reinstated where historic ones have been lost. We are consulting widely with the general public, heritage organisations, educational establishments and community groups on the development of an ‘activity statement’ to capture proposals for a programme of activities and events that will enable local people to engage with the heritage.

Ashton Town Hall: visioning exercise

Client: tameside metropolitan borough Council

We were commissioned by the local authority regeneration team to undertake a market appraisal and Ashton Town Hall, facing the Market Placeinitial business plan for this listed Town Hall to provide a vision for how the Council might achieve independent, financially sustainable use of the building after severance from previously attached Administration Centre (which provided functions such as plant, fire exits and kitchen facilities).  Architectural proposals were developed by Roddie MacLean, with Roger Jackson leading on consultation with agency and sector contacts. The study was well received by Officers and Councillors, who applauded the Vision we articulated: “The Jewel on the Square: Inform, Debate, Celebrate”.  This has been developed into the Council’s current implementation plan and we are delighted to have been invited to develop the full business case for the project.

Ilkeston Town Hall: community engagement activities

Client: Erewash Borough Council

Ilkeston TH banner - recent projectCreative Heritage worked alongside Erewash Council and partners to deliver a highly enjoyable programme of learning and participation activities to complement the restoration of Ilkeston Town Hall. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project included conservation construction skills training for local contractors, a history talk researched and delivered by the local U3A history group and a toolkit for schools’ visits. A public vote to select a heritage image to appear on the scaffolding during the works, and a free publication about the building and people associated with it were particularly successful.

Carrington Street Townscape Heritage project

Client: Nottingham City Council

Carrington Street - recent projectKate Dickson was pleased to support Council officers during the development phase of a project to establish a Townscape Heritage programme for Carrington Street in Nottingham city centre. Building on a successful round 1 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Creative Heritage team undertook condition surveys, costings and valuation exercises to determine a ‘detailed scheme plan’ for potential third party projects. Advice was given on the development of an Activity Plan for the scheme, and assistance in preparation of a Conservation area Management & Maintenance Plan, project programme, cashflow forecast and all other supporting documentation for a successful round 2 HLF bid, submitted in August 2015. At the start of the delivery phase, Kate was engaged as ‘interim project manager’ to kickstart the project.

Mentoring, monitoring and expert advice

Client: Heritage Lottery Fund

St John's Hyde ParkHeritage grants:

  • Ingestre Orangery, Staffordshire: mentoring the development of round 2 application to convert and extend Victorian orangery to create a community hub
  • St John’s, Hyde Park, London: ‘Save Betty’ organ restoration project (mentor then monitor)
  • Northampton Students Union: Engine Shed project (mentor with interpretation focus)
  • Greater Manchester CVO: Ardwick Green Histories and a sustainable St Thomas Centre (mentor for development phase; round 2 bid not submitted)

Our Heritage:

  • Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust: mentor for project to undertake an assessment of Historic Buildings at Risk in Derbyshire, with a view to finding new projects and ways of working, to invigorate a long-established, but latterly inactive, Building Preservation Trust

Grants for Places of Worship:

  • St Margaret’s, Somersby, Lincolnshire (mentor)
  • St Mary Magdalene, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire (mentor)
  • St Peter’s Raunds, Northamptonshire

Townscape Heritage:

  • Swadincote, Derbyshire (mentor)
  • Wakefield, Yorkshire (expert advice)