Recent studies and commissions

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

Private sector

The Old Grandstand, Richmond, North Yorkshire


Site meeting of the North Riding Planning Committee on 8 July 1969.

Front elevation of Richmond Grandstand, as it stands today, on a glorious sunny day.

The former racecourse Grandstand in Richmond, North Yorkshire, was built in 1776 and is generally understood as being the work of architect John Carr of York. Richmond Grandstand is the earliest surviving stone grandstand in the country and is Grade II* listed for its special architectural and historic significance. The original use of the Grandstand ceased when Richmond Racecourse closed in 1891 and began to be used for annual military camps, exercising and training horses and other outdoor activities. From 1902-1941 the Grandstand was used as an isolation hospital until it was taken over by the military following the outbreak of WWII. After the war, the Grandstand was disused and suffered from vandalism and decay, which led to the partial demolition of the first floor of the Grandstand after being declared ‘unsafe’. Today, the Grandstand is a ruin, surrounded by salvaged stone, vegetation and a heras fence.

In order to find a solution for this building once and for all, Creative Heritage Consultants Ltd were commissioned by the property’s owners, Richmond Burgage Pastures Committee, to undertake an initial market analysis and feasibility study for the Grandstand and adjacent Zetland Stand. The work involved a condition survey and recommendations for repair, plus exploration of potential of end-uses in terms of need, demand and potential economic viability. We considered options such as facilities for Riding for the Disabled Association, an outdoor pursuits centre, a restaurant or café, holiday accommodation for the Landmark Trust or consolidation as a ruin with or without a viewing platform.

The report concluded that whilst holiday accommodation may be the preferred option in the long term, the best way forward for now is to consolidate the ruin, safeguarding the building and enabling the removal of the barrier fencing, until such time as the funding and conditions are right for a more active use.

Greatlow Farm, Hartington Upper Quarter


Front elevation of Greatlow Farmhouse

Greatlow Farmhouse is a Grade II listed building situated in Hartington Upper Quarter in the High Peak. The owners wish to repair and refurbish the farmhouse and bring it back into use as a dwelling. This will be the first phase of a wider project to conserve and reuse all the buildings within the historic farmstead.

Creative Heritage have been employed to develop a Heritage Impact Assessment for the farmhouse to assist the owners, their architects, and the planning authority, to reach a mutual understanding of the heritage value of the property and the potential impact of the proposals, in order to protect and reveal its historic significance. The farmhouse retains its historic roughcast render finish and exhibits typical details of eighteenth century Derbyshire vernacular buildings.

A listed building consent application for the farmhouse has been submitted and is currently being considered by the planning authority.

Summer Hill House, Birmingham


18-23 Summer Hill Terrace

Creative Heritage Consultants were appointed to provide heritage advice during the development of design proposals for a site at 18-23 Summer Hill Terrace, known as Summer Hill House. The building was built in the early 20th century by the Birmingham Poor Law Union, as a receiving home for children who were taken into care, however this ceased in 1939.The proposals included the conversion and extension of existing buildings to create 37 apartments and the construction of four town houses and two commercial units.

As part of our work, we articulated the historic significance of the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area and four nearby Grade II listed buildings whose architecture and design contributed to the character of the area, as well as revealing the social history of the former children’s home. The Heritage Impact Assessment we prepared was used to support a successful application to the Birmingham City Council for planning permission, which was approved in January 2024.

Brownsfield Mill, Northern Quarter, Manchester


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 was completed in 2019 and successfully marketed as Avro Lofts.

Spital Buildings, Castleton, Derbyshire


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.

Century Buildings, Birmingham


Grade II Listed Century Buildings at 35-38 Summer Hill Road in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter

This study was commissioned by Saracens Construction Ltd to help them secure planning and listed building consent for a residential conversion scheme, including an apart hotel and apartments for sale.

The building has an interesting history and evolution of development, starting out as a late-18th century house, being extended to the rear with a workshop wing in the early 19th century and then being incrementally developed to the front and rear over the earlier part of the 20th century as the building evolved into commercial/industrial uses.

The planning and listed building consent application has been accompanied by a Heritage Impact Assessment, produced by Creative Heritage, which gives a ‘thorough and detailed account of the historic development and evolution of the site and its place within the context of the development of the Jewellery Quarter. The various phases of development and alterations are clearly set out and well documented through map regression, historic plans and photographic evidence overall providing a sound assessment of the site and its significance’ (Birmingham City Council Conservation Officer). The applications are currently being assessed by the planning authority.

Well Street Coventry


D5 Architects drawing of the 5-storey mixed use development on the corner of Well Street and Bishop Street, in Coventry city centre. The Grade I Listed Old Grammar School is directly adjacent to the site (to the right of the image)

We were pleased to work with D5 Architects LLP and Far Gosford Developments Ltd, as they developed a scheme to construct a 5-storey mixed-use development on the corner of Well Street and Bishop Street in Coventry city centre.

The proposed site lies in a prominent area of historic significance, immediately adjacent to the Lady Herbert’s Garden and The Burges Conservation Area and directly opposite the Grade I listed Old Grammar School.

Our Heritage Impact Assessment formed part of a successful application for planning consent for 40 apartments and 4,500 sq ft of ground floor retail and office space. The project is currently being marketed by Complex Development Projects Ltd.

Voluntary sector

Tyldesley High Street Heritage Action Zone


Before: One of the priority projects on Elliott Street, latterly the much loved Franks Chippy.

After:  Frank’s Chippy on completion. The shop on the left is the HAZ office.

Creative Heritage is providing project management services to For Tyldesley Community Interest Company, to support volunteer Directors and the wider community in the delivery of a High Street Heritage Action Zone. £1.5m has been awarded by Historic England, to provide a grant pot for repairs to historic buildings on the main street of this former mining town, to the east of Manchester.  Our role is to enable property owners to access grants for the repair of historic fabric and reinstatement of architectural features, such as traditional shop fronts.

We are bringing our extensive knowledge of Townscape Heritage projects to develop and implement grant administration and governance processes, and our experience of delivery of heritage skills training and community engagement projects. Kate Mitchell is our project manager on the ground until the end of the project in March 2024. For more information about property grants, contact

A Tyldesley Town Design Guide has been developed, which responds to comments about the high street put forward through an extensive community consultation. It provides advice on shopfront design, including a vibrant Tyldesley paint palette. To view or download the Town Design Guide, click here. The appendices are in a separate volume, here.

Saving Macclesfield’s Heritage


Nineteenth century Jacquard silk hand looms, situated on the top floor of Lower Paradise Mill.

Creative Heritage Consultants have been appointed as Project Managers to support the Silk Heritage Trust in the delivery of a package of repair and backlog maintenance works to safeguard the future of the Trust’s key assets, in light of the Covid-19 impacts. The buildings include the Grade II listed Silk Museum, Grade II listed Lower Paradise Mill, the top floor of which holds an astonishing collection of nineteenth century Jacquard silk hand looms, and the Grade II* listed Old Sunday School. £339,133 has been secured from the National Heritage Memorial Fund for these priority works, and associated fees and staff costs.

The project presents the opportunity for us to bring our extensive project management skills and knowledge of industrial heritage projects – and it’s only half an hour from our office!

Conserving the Historic Estate Project


Coalport China Museum, one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums administered by the IGMT.

IGMT has been successful in securing £5.5 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to implement an extensive programme of repair and conservation works across heritage assets in the Trust’s ownership, all situated within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. (A further £4.5 million has been awarded for an endowment to generate income for ongoing maintenance.)

The project will see conservation of around 50 discreet historic assets – many of them listed buildings and / or scheduled monuments – over a three-year period to March 2026. In addition to employing an in-house project manager, assistant and finance officer, IGMT has invested in a small specialist conservation maintenance team with four full-time posts.  This team will be trained to carry out repair and maintenance works, whilst more complex work is undertaken by external specialist contractors.

Creative Heritage Director, Kate Dickson provided strategic project delivery support to the in-house delivery team until the end of 2023. This included establishing a logic model for evaluation, change control procedure and leading a project prioritisation workshop.

Viability Study for Tooleys Boatyard, Banbury


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 regeneration 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.

Following an initial viability study conducted by Andrew Townsend Architects and Creative Heritage in 2019-20, the Trustees of Tooley’s Boatyard Trust received further funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund to revisit the previous options in a post-pandemic world. The recommendations we developed included the restoration of a timber working narrowboat named Hardy, relocating the visitor entrance, and taking a lease of a stretch of towpath to provide moorings, a working area and visitor gathering space. We advised phasing the delivery and developed an action plan which suggests further engagement with stakeholders and funders, reviewing governance and enhancing capacity, developing a collections policy, undertaking on-going evaluation, and submitting an Expression of Interest to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Property and Asset Income Generation Strategy


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 2,000 people presents a challenge for Port Sunlight Village Trust. Creative Heritage enjoyed 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 was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the Trust’s ‘Brighter Future Project’.

Heritage Conference and Ongoing Pre-Feasibility Work


The Rest House, Bournville Village Green

The Future Heritage Conference hosted by Bournville Village Trust on 14 June 2022 brought together 39 individuals from a wide range of community organisations, the local authority and Mondalez, owners of the Cadbury factory. Creative Heritage delivered a keynote presentation about the creative reuse of buildings for community benefit. We then led a workshop on specific buildings and sites in Bournville with a view to their potential end uses, helping identify any outstanding gaps in the area. It was recognised that, although not everything can be found in Bournville currently, the community is fortunate in the breadth of facilities available but does not always make best use of its historic public buildings. There is a need to communicate better about existing resources and optimise their use.

Following this conference, Creative Heritage Consultants has been commissioned by Bournville Village Trust to complete pre-feasibility work towards co-development of a masterplan. We attended an initial site visit facilitated by Bournville Village Trust, to identify target buildings and get a general feel for Bournville and the community. We conducted consultations with members of the Trust’s Steering Group, which gave us an insight into key community groups’ capacity and ambitions. We have attended a number of meetings with Mondalez to understand the role of the factory within the village and its strategic needs. We are looking forward to continuing this piece of work and working closely with Bournville Village Trust and partners to establish viable new uses for numerous underused buildings which were developed by George Cadbury for the wellbeing and education of the community.

St Mary’s Church, Bloxham, Oxfordshire


St Mary’s Church, Bloxham.

St Mary’s Church is a large Grade I listed building and is recognised by Pevsner as “one of the grandest churches in the country” (Pevsner’s Buildings of England). The Building Our Future (BOF) initiative will involve significant elements of restoration alongside upgrading the facilities and usability of the church. As part of this project, the Heritage Group wants to make the history, people, stories, art and architecture of St Mary’s accessible to everyone in an engaging and informative way.

Creative Heritage Consultants, and Associate Chris Chadwick, have been commissioned by the BOF Heritage Group to carry out a programme of community engagement and consultation to identify target audiences for the BOF project, establish the needs of those audiences and design a programme of interpretation and activity to meet those needs. The outcome will be a costed five-year outline Activity Plan which will support a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

John Carr 300 Challenge


The John Carr building ‘Buxton Stables’. Drawing by Donald Insall Associates.


The John Carr building ‘Buxton Stables’, with a section missing. Drawing by Donald Insall Associates.


To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of architect John Carr, Creative Heritage Consultants are supporting the John Carr Design Challenge, in conjunction with Donald Insall Associates. The challenge is aimed at schools and will involve students designing an alternative section of building to fill a blanked-out area of an existing drawing of a Carr elevation. This will hopefully encourage young people to view architecture both as an interest and a potential future career.

We are sponsoring the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust’s involvement in the project, as both the Crescent and Devonshire Stables were designed by Carr. Our sponsorship will go towards the setting up and running of an exhibition to be displayed at the Pump Room and Crescent Assembly Rooms, and a selection of prizes awarded to individuals from different year groups.

Canada House, Sheffield


Grade II* Listed Canada House in Sheffield city centre

Creative Heritage Consultants have been commissioned by Sheffield Music Academy and the Music Hub who seek to convert the Grade II* Listed Canada House into the ‘Harmony Works’ centre for young musicians. Canada House was constructed in 1874 and has been extended several times. It is of Italianate Renaissance style and is built of stone with a blue gambrel roof and comprises approximately 3,000m2 of internal accommodation over five floors. The ambition is for Harmony Works to be an asset, not just for young people, for music education, but for Sheffield as a city: ‘a place where everyone can unite under the love of classical music, through a variety of events and functions’ (Harmony Works Feasibility Study, 2017.)

Creative Heritage was able to support the designs proposed by Sheffield Music Academy and the Music Hub because they are inline with the buildings original use as a semi-public semi-civic function. The proposals meet the requirements of heritage policy, most particularly section 66 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, by preserving and enhancing the Grade II* Listed building and its features of special architectural and historic interest.

The final Heritage Impact Assessment formed part of a successful application for planning and listed building consent, which was approved by Sheffield City Council in November 2022. The project secured a development phase award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in March 2023.

Coffin Fitting Works Project Management


Newman Brothers’ Coffin Fitting Works on the fringe of the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

An extraordinary survivor on the fringe of the Jewellery Quarter, Newman Brothers’ Coffin Fitting Works was acquired by Birmingham Conservation Trust just 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 has been completed 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 thanks 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.

Public sector

Ashton-in-Makerfield Town Centre Building Grant Scheme


Central Buildings, Ashton-in-Makerfield

Creative Heritage has been appointed to provide project management and architectural services to support Wigan Council in the delivery of a Town Centre Building Grant Scheme in Ashton-in-Makerfield. The grant scheme is part of the wider £6.6 million Levelling Up Fund/Capital Regeneration Programme ‘Our Future Ashton’.

The aim of the Town Centre Building Grant Scheme is to improve and regenerate Ashton by bringing out the best in the historic environment, to increase the attractiveness and vitality of the town centre. A total fund of over £500,000 has been awarded to deliver a range of repair and conservation work to retail and other business premises within the town centre, particularly within the Conservation Area.

Kate Mitchell is our project manager on the ground until the end of March 2026. For more information about the Town Centre Building Grant Scheme, contact

Buxton Crescent Heritage Skills programme


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

We were delighted to deliver 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, involved tours of the construction site to meet the specialist subcontractors engaged on the project. They offered 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 was funded by the National Lottery Heritage 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 was created by local media expert, Andy Parker, and provides an evaluation of this thoroughly enjoyable day.

Buxton Crescent Heritage Trades Project – YouTube

Rediscovering the Underbanks Townscape Heritage Scheme


A wheelbarrow of flowers brings new life in the Underbanks. Local businesses have been inspired by the Townscape Heritage Project

In 2018, Stockport Council was successful in its second stage bid for £1.79 million of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Funding was secured for a scheme that seeks to repair and reinstate key historic properties and their features in the Underbanks Townscape Heritage area, bringing them back into use to reanimate a once vibrant area. This project also has ambitions to rebuild gap sites, improve the public realm and create better links between the Underbanks, the modern Merseyway Shopping Centre and the historic Market Place.

Creative Heritage Consultants, and Associate Pete Brown, have been commissioned by Stockport Council to undertake a continuous evaluation of the Rediscovering the Underbanks Townscape Heritage Scheme. This involves critical review of the baseline methodology and background documents, creation of a logic model and evaluation framework for capital projects and the activity plan, annual project reviews to determine key lessons and a final evaluation study. Our work will track whether the scheme is meeting its objectives, guide strategic direction and identify good practice, and assess overall impact.

This project is due to be completed by March 2025.

Southport Townscape Heritage Project


Postcard of Lord Street on 19th Jan 1910 (

Southport Townscape Heritage Project is a five year scheme aiming to make a lasting difference for local heritage, people and communities. It is focused on four key town centre streets, covered by the Lord Street and Promenade Conservation Area Management Plan, that link the town centre and the seafront. The project is managed by Sefton Council’s Conservation and Heritage team and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Sefton Council.

Creative Heritage Consultants, and Associate Pete Brown, have been appointed by Sefton Council as evaluators for this project. Our work is to review and develop the overall logic model and revised evaluation plan, advise on evaluation methods, conduct targeted interviews with key stakeholders and audiences, and produce draft and final reports in line with the National Lottery Heritage Fund evaluation guidelines.

We are combining our extensive experience of undertaking project evaluations for similar projects, working with local authorities and communities, alongside our good written and verbal communication skills to help the scheme meet its objectives to the highest standard by its completion in November 2024.

Carrington Street Townscape Heritage project


22-26 Carrington Street prior to Townscape Heritage project works

22-26 Carrington Street after Townscape Heritage project works

Kate 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 National Lottery Heritage 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 Heritage Fund bid, submitted in August 2015. At the start of the delivery phase, Kate was engaged as ‘interim project manager’ to kickstart the project. The Townscape Heritage project has been a highly successful catalyst for regeneration in this part of the city.

Richmond Market Hall


Interior view of Richmond Market Hall, North Yorkshire

Creative Heritage is providing project management services to help with the redevelopment of Richmond’s historic Market Hall. We are combining our extensive project organisational skills with our passion for making historic buildings work for communities.

The Market Hall is a prominent building situated on the cobbled Market Place in the centre of this North Yorkshire town and has served as a community focal point since the mid 19th century. The Market Hall is a designated grade two listed building and is therefore considered a building of architectural and historic interest, containing both Georgian and Victorian architecture. Funding for a Project Viability Study has been granted by the Architectural Heritage Fund, alongside additional funding being provided by Richmond Town Council. Burns Collett Consultants and Creative Heritage are hoping to make the Market Hall more financially viable by increasing footfall and the number of purchases being made by the public, through optimising use of the floor space and addressing issues such as lingering food smells. The aim is to create a thriving community-driven indoor market.

The final report has been completed and submitted to the Architectural Heritage Fund. Through undertaking small packages of work to improve the building’s kerb appeal and refocussing the management and marketing of the offer and, we hope the Market Hall will be turned into an economically viable asset for both tourists and locals to enjoy.

Mentoring, monitoring and expert advice


Kate Dickson has been a member of the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Register of Support Services since 2012. In this consultancy role, she has mentored a wide range of organisations undertaking heritage projects, including:

  • St John’s, Hyde Park, London: ‘Save Betty’ organ restoration project
  • Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust: 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
  • Swadincote Townscape Heritage project, Derbyshire
  • Places of worship undertaking repair and interpretation projects, such as St Mary Magdalene, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire and St Margaret’s, Somersby, in Lincolnshire
  • Loughborough Generator (multi-purpose community arts centre)
  • Highlife Centre, Coventry (overcoming barriers to empower social change)


Members of the Creative Heritage team are currently engaged as assessors and mentors on behalf of the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF), for organisations applying for Community Ownership Fund grants. We are also consultants to the AHF’s Heritage Development Trust programme, seeking to establish a new breed of entrepreneurial, not-for-profit, community-led historic building developers.