Recent studies and commissions

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

Private Sector

Spital Buildings, Castleton, Derbyshire

CLIENT: Private individual

Some projects are such a joy that they don’t feel like work! We thoroughly enjoyed researching the Spital Buildings, Castleton, in the Derbyshire Peak Districthistory 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.

Client: Romigo Holdings (North)

Gough St project- Singers Hill SynagogueCreative Heritage has been commissioned to assist this London developer and investor in exploring opportunities for new residential developments on a number of sites in Birmingham. The Gough Street heritage impact assessment involved consideration of the potential impact of a contemporary 9-storey apartment development on a steeply sloping site adjacent to the locally-listed former Christadelphian Hall and within the immediate vicinity of the grade 2* listed Singers Hill Synagogue. Involvement of Creative Heritage from the design concept stage facilitated an understanding of the historic context of this formerly densely populated area which informed the proposals, as well as bringing neighbours on board through consultation and engagement. A planning application was submitted in July 2015.

Tariff Street, Piccadilly Basin, Manchester: Heritage Impact Assessment

Client: Town Centre Securities PLC & GMI Construction Group PLC

Tariff St - copyright Our Studio for Home page & projectsThis 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.

Hardwick Hall, Buxton: feasibility study and market appraisal

Client: Trevor Osborne Property Group

Hardwick Hall c1926Constructed in 1896 as the final phase of the Peak Hydropathic Establishment,Hardwick Hall (link to Facebook page) was occupied by the Buxton branch of the British Legion in 2011. Its upper floors, built as hotel bedrooms but more recently used as High Peak College teaching accommodation and rented offices, have been vacant for decades. Acquired with a view to creating a community assembly and performance space in the former Ballroom, Creative Heritage has been commissioned to explore the potential for the upper floors of the building to be converted into modern office accommodation. The market appraisal study extends to considering how this might be used in conjunction with vacant upper floor space in publicly-owned premises in the vicinity, in order to rationalise and improve Council office accommodation and free up architecturally important public rooms for civic purposes. This is very timely in view of public consultation in autumn 2015 regarding the possible closure of Buxton Courts, which currently lease part of the adjacent property. Following an initial heritage, architectural and structural appraisal, Creative Heritage’s first task was to manage basic upgrading and emergency works to the Ballroom to enable the Green Man Gallery to take occupation on a meanwhile lease.

Voluntary sector

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.

51 Tickford Street, Newport Pagnell: Market appraisal & outline business plan

Client: Buckinghamshire Historic Buildings Trust

Tickford St garage - for recent projectsCreative Heritage was commissioned early in 2015 as part of a conservation architect-led team to undertake a feasibility study to explore the re-use potential of this listed but semi-derelict listed former inn (currently part of MOT garage) in Newport Pagnell. Our work involved agency consultation and desk-based market assessment to identify potential end uses. Interviews with a range of consultees then identified two social enterprise organisations interested in occupying the building. Following discussions with these possible end users, BHBT and its partners will use the study to inform, acquisition decisions and funding applications.

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 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

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.

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.

London Mill, Leek: options appraisals

Client: Staffordshire Moorlands District Council

london-mill-leek-alternatTwo phases of feasibility study and market appraisal for this privately-owned listed mill were undertaken in 2013-14, to inform the Council’s potential acquisition and funding strategy. An initial architectural assessment provided information regarding structural issues, repair requirements, conversion potential and costs. This facilitated the development of sketch schemes for a range of end uses, with the preparation of market valuations. A parallel market appraisal with advice on operational models and funding potential then led to a second phase of assessment to determine possible development partners and delivery mechanisms for creative live-work space and associated residential accommodation. Extensive consultation canvassing public and private sector interests culminated in a presentation at a Creatives Roadshow in September 2014.

Manchester Art Gallery: Heritage Impact Assessment for Gallery of Craft & Design lighting scheme

Client: Manchester Art Gallery & Lloyd Evans Prichard Architects

Manchester Art GalleryThe Gallery of Craft and Design is located within the former Lecture Hall of the Manchester Athenaeum, a grade 2* listed building. Creative Heritage was commissioned to provide advice on the potential impact of a new grid-based lighting scheme, to be suspended from the late Victorian plaster ceiling. After agreeing a small number of mitigation measures with the lighting designer, the Impact Assessment aims to reassure the Planning Authority and English Heritage/Historic England of the benefits of the new scheme, which will de-clutter the gallery and up-light the ceiling to reveal and enhance the historic plasterwork.

Long Eaton THI project management

Client: Erewash Borough Council

long-eaton-thi-celebratorKate Dickson provided 12 months’ maternity leave cover to maintain the successful delivery of Long Eaton’s Townscape Heritage Initiative project and bring the five-year programme to close. The commission included grant administration, quality inspections for two projects on site and financial management over the period March 2013 to February 2014.

Mentoring, monitoring and expert advice

Client: Heritage Lottery Fund

St John's Hyde ParkHeritage grants:

  • St John’s, Hyde Park, London: ‘Save Betty’ organ restoration project (mentor then monitor)
  • Northampton Students Union: Engine Shed project (interpretation focus)
  • Greater Manchester CVO: Ardwick Green Histories and a sustainable St Thomas Centre

Our Heritage:

  • Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust: Historic Buildings at Risk  Rescure assessment

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)