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3 Spital Yard
Spitalfields, , E1 6AQ
United Kingdom

020 7925 0199

The AHF appreciates that neglected buildings which are all too familiar in our towns, cities and countryside can, with a little imagination and a lot of enthusiasm, be rescued to become assets for their communities by people wanting to make a difference. The AHF has helped hundreds of organisations throughout the UK to do exactly that.

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Case Studies

Cromford Mills, Derbyshire

Architectural Heritage Fund

What’s So Special About This Place?

The mill has been described as the most important preserved textile heritage site in the world. It is from these buildings that Sir Richard Arkwright developed technology that gave rise to the industrial revolution by creating the modern factory system.  

Why Was The Building Under Threat?

It was generally believed the mills had reached the end of their useful life and must be demolished – all of the key buildings had fallen into disrepair and many of the historic features of the site, including the principal watercourse, had been obliterated by modern development. The colour works that was the last industrial use had left significant contamination. So degraded had the site become that the Local Authority believed it had lost too much of its original integrity and that it was no longer historically important.

How Was It Saved?

The Arkwright Society purchased the mill site in 1979 supported by a loan from AHF as an act of rescue, and in the early 1980s began to implement its long-term economic plan. The strategy identified the buildings that were not required for the Society’s own uses and so could be repaired and leased to tenants. The aim was to create a rental income to cross subsidise the Society’s overheads and the costs of delivering services to the general public visiting the site. The society was also able to implement a programme of repairs and conservation, and once some of the more modern buildings were removed the true significance of the complex was revealed, leading to the inscription as a World Heritage Site.  

Project: Cromford Mills, Cromford, Derbyshire, England

Client: Arkwright Society

Grade I and II buildings

Mill complex inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

New Uses: Arkwright Experience – visitor centre; Cromford Creative – managed workspace units

Find out more at www.cromfordmills.org.uk

Professional team
Architect: Purcell Miller Tritton
Quantity Surveyor: Rawlinson Associates
Structural Engineer: Eastwood & Partners
Valuation Surveyor: Smithies
Project co-ordinator: David Trevis-Smith

Other project funders
Heritage Lottery Fund £4,095,400
ERDF £1,059,445
Monument Trust £250,000
AIM Biffa £112,500
Garfield Weston Foundation £100,000
JP Getty Charitable Trust £100,000
Headley Trust £60,000
Others £182,055
Volunteer time £823,300
Total £6,782,700

How Is The Building Used Now?

The Arkwright Society have a popular visitor centre, the Arkwright Experience serving as a gateway to the site including a 3d interactive model and virtual reality show. In the early 1990s the Society developed further income streams from a restaurant and shops run by its trading arm, Cromford Mill Limited. Many of the buildings have now been brought back into economic use and the site has creative industries managed workspace, two restaurants, several meeting rooms, office accommodation for rental, galleries and several shops.

How Did The AHF Help?

The AHF’s involvement with the project goes all the way back to 1979, when it first offered a loan enabling the Arkwright Society to buy Cromford Mills. This makes the Arkwright Society AHF’s longest-established client.  More recently AHF provided a project development grant of £25,000 and a loan of £510,000, supporting the Arkwright’s society’s ambitious four-phase masterplan for the site to become self-sustaining.

Oldpark Carnegie Library, Belfast

Architectural Heritage Fund

What's so special about this place?

Oldpark Library was the first of three libraries built by Belfast Corporation following a donation from Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-American steel magnate and philanthropist who funded libraries, schools and universities throughout the USA, UK, Ireland and Europe. Built in 1906 to the designs of the local architectural practice Watt and Tulloch, it served as a library for over 100 years, finally closing in 2008. Today, only one of Belfast’s Carnegie libraries (on Falls Road) remains in use as a library. A second, on Donegall Road, was restored in 1998 and is now let out to small businesses. The latter is home to the Northern Ireland Foundation, which is leading the project to develop a ‘third sector’ use for Oldpark Library. 

Project: Oldpark Carnegie Library, Belfast

Client: The Northern Ireland Foundation

Category B listed building, on Belfast City Council’s ‘at risk’ register.

New use:  Community / social enterprise

Find out more at: https://northernireland.foundation/projects/carnegieoldpark

Other project funding:
HLF Start-up grant    £9,200

Why was the building under threat?

The local community, led by Lower Oldpark Community Association, had campaigned to keep the library open but to no avail. Following the failure of a proposed community asset transfer, the building remained empty, slowly decaying. It was put up for sale at public auction in December 2015. 

How was it saved?

In a philanthropic gesture which echoed some of the original intentions of Andrew Carnegie over 100 years earlier, a local benefactor with a passion for Carnegie libraries acquired the building at auction on behalf of the community. The building will be leased to the Northern Ireland Foundation, an independent charity which develops programmes to support a shared future in Northern Ireland, local community activism and the exchange of international best practices.

How is the building used now?

The building is currently empty while viable use options are explored, although it opened its doors for European Heritage Open Days and some ‘meanwhile uses’ are planned. The plan is to develop commercial revenue streams via office rental upstairs, enabling ground floor rooms to be used by all communities for education and training, arts and cultural activities. By bringing the building back into use to serve the local community as well as providing space for businesses, it is hoped that the project will make a real contribution to the regeneration of north Belfast, in parallel with other developments in the area, including the recently reopened Crumlin Road Gaol. The Foundation will work in partnership with the Lower Oldpark Community Association, which will run the facility. 

How did the AHF help?

An AHF Project Viability Grant, matched with a Start-up grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will enable the Foundation to test the viability of its proposals and complete a condition survey of the building.

Plas Kynaston, Wrexham

Architectural Heritage Fund

What's So Special about this place?

Plas Kynaston is a Grade II listed house in the Cefn Mawr Conservation Area, Wrexham.  It was the home of the Kynaston family whose industrial activities led to the development of the Plas Kynaston foundry which cast the ironwork for the famous Pontcysllte Aqueduct, designated a World Heritage Site in 2009.  The house passed into community ownership in 1938 and served as the local library until the 1970s. 

Why was the building under threat?

Plas Kynaston had remained empty and without a use for at least 15 years by the time Welsh Georgian Trust became involved.  It was included in the local buildings at risk register and without an identified future, was increasingly vulnerable.  The house had also suffered unsympathetic alterations in the past and, boarded up, it had become a blight on the local area, despite its great significance to local and national heritage.

 

Project: Plas Kynaston, Wrexham, Wales

Client: The Welsh Georgian Trust

Grade II listed building

New use:  Residential

Find out more at: www.welshgeorgiantrust.org.uk

Case Study Presentation (HTN Conference 2016)

Professional team
Architect: Donald Insall Associates
Quantity Surveyor: John Pidgeon Partnership
Structural Engineer: Engineering and More Ltd
Building Contractor: Grosvenor Construction Ltd
Project Co-ordinator: Andrew Beckett, Trust Chair

Other project funding:

Cefn Mawr Townscape Heritage      £320,000
Sale proceeds                                   £520,000

How was it saved?

The Welsh Georgian Trust was established in 2011 with the aim of championing and preserving Georgian and pre-Georgian buildings in Wales, an important but often overlooked aspect of Welsh heritage.  Plas Kynaston was the Trust's first project.  They approached Wrexham County Borough Council and worked in partnership with them to establish a rescue package.  The Trust's first step was to undertake an Options Appraisal to identify the most viable use.  This involved extensive research and consultation.  The building had served the community for many years and the possibility of returning it to community use as a heritage centre or library was carefully considered.  However, this did not present a viable business case that would secure the capital and ongoing revenue funding needed.  There was also no demand for other types of community facility in the area, since it was already well-served in this respect.  However, the research identified a real need for small residential properties to buy, since these were in short supply locally.  The Trust secured a major grant from the Cefn Mawr Townscape Heritage scheme, which recognised the importance of Plas Kynaston to the Conservation Area.  With finance in place from the AHF, the restoration and conversion of the building could go ahead.

How is the building used now?

Plas Kynaston is once again an important landmark in the Conservation Area, with unsympathetic past alterations reversed and missing features restored. Converted to six one bedroom apartments for sale, launched at a public open day on 19 November 2016, it is enabling people to set up home in the community.  The Trust has retained the freehold of the property, with the flats held on long leases.  This will ensure Plas Kynaston is preserved for the long-term benefit of the community.  The common areas will be open to the public for events such as Heritage Open Days, to enable people to enjoy and understand more about the place of Plas Kynaston in our heritage.

How did the AHF help?

The AHF provided advice on setting up the Welsh Georgian Trust and then offered a grant to help fund the Options Appraisal for this first project undertaken by the Trust.  This identified a clearly viable proposal, so the AHF then invested in the project with an initial loan of £222,667, topped up with a further £100,000.  This provided the Trust with working capital to cover the conservation deficit, that is the gap between the project cost and eventual sale price, enabling the project to proceed.  The sale of the apartments will enable the loan to be repaid.

Lye and Wollescote Cemetery Chapels, Dudley

Architectural Heritage Fund

What’s So Special About This Place?

The Lye and Wollescote Cemetery Chapels are a rare surviving example of two chapels within a single building, comprising identical Anglican and one Non-Conformist chapels. These handsome red brick and slate roofed Gothick style chapels lie at the heart of the formally landscaped grounds, surrounded by the burials of many generations of local people making this an important local and national asset.

Why Were The Buildings Under Threat?

The Chapels closed for use in the 1993, after a fire in the Anglican chapel, and the condition of the buildings deteriorated rapidly. Local people were concerned, not only about the state of the chapels, but that fact that the dereliction was attracting anti-social behaviour, leaving family graves broken and the local area blighted.

How Was It Saved?

It took West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust ten years of fund raising and negotiations to secure a sustainable new use for the buildings.  Working with former owners, Dudley Council, a Community Asset Transfer to WMHBT was agreed and funding secured from HLF and others to convert the chapels to secular uses that could generate income and jobs. 

 

Project: Lye and Wollescote Cemetery Chapels

Client: West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust

Grade II Listed

New Use: Stourbridge Registration Office

Find out more at www.lyeandwollescote.info

Professional team
Architect: Hayward, Brownhill and Brown, Architects
Quantity Surveyor: Graham Hale and Co
Structural Engineer: Hancock, Wheeldon and Ascough
Project co-ordinator: David Trevis Smith, WMHBT

Other project funders
Heritage Lottery Fund £1,025,000
Dudley MB Council £25,000
William A Cadbury £500
William Morris Charitable Trust £1,600
Sylvia Waddilove Foundation £20,000
Charitable Trust donations £2,000
Total £1,098,825

How Is The Building Used Now?

The Chapels are now leased by WMHBT to the local registry office for civil ceremonies. One chapel is dedicated to weddings, whilst the other chapel houses offices for staff on a mezzanine gallery in the roof and meeting rooms, which can be used by the local community.  The project has been the focus for much community involvement, especially for research, interpretation and other heritage activities. Parking has been improved and the restoration of the building also encouraged the formation of a friends group whose dedication at weekend working parties has transformed the once overgrown cemetery into a calm and beautiful setting for the restored building.

How Did The AHF Help?

The support of AHF has been key to development of this project, especially at the early stages of development. It first offered funding in 2006 towards a feasibility study, which identified potential uses. This was followed by both a Project Administration Grant and a Project Organiser Grant, which enabled the project to get to the stage of bidding for HLF and other monies. Once capital funds had been confirmed, an AHF working capital loan was used to underwrite the project costs during construction, which was completed in October 2015. 

Clevedon Pier, Somerset

Architectural Heritage Fund

What’s So Special About this Place?

Clevedon Pier is the only intact Grade I listed Pier in the UK. It is located at the northern end of Clevedon seafront, overlooking the Bristol Channel, and offers a glimpse of Victorian elegance. It is open 364 days of the year and is also the stopping-off point for up to 4,000 passengers annually from paddle steamer and boat trips. It was built in 1869 using discarded rails from Brunel’s broad-gauge South Wales Railway, and cost £10,000 to construct.

Why Was The Building Under Threat?

The Pier has a chequered history and was almost lost due to the spiralling costs of its upkeep and lack of maintenance that resulted in a partial collapse in October 1970 during a Local Authority biannual load test. More recently (2012) it was acknowledged that further income-generating activities were necessary to secure the long-term future of the pier.

How Was It Saved?

The Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust was established in 1980, following a Public Inquiry, during which John Betjeman gave evidence about the significance of the Pier. The Trust acquired the Pier on a long lease and undertook a major rebuilding and refurbishment scheme. The Pier was reopened in 1989 with the final restoration of the Pier Head being completed in 1998.

By 2012 the Trust recognised that the Pier’s appeal to visitors and the local community needed to be enhanced in order to sustain it in the long term, and they formulated a plan to generate further appropriate income-generating opportunities. This project was completed in 2016. The project was nominated for a Historic England ‘Angels’ award, and won the prestigious People’s Vote in October 2016.

Quote: ‘Although appropriate professionals contributed throughout, the Trust provided the forethought, energy and perseverance to deliver the scheme’. (Historic England website, Angels Award nomination)

How Is The Building Used Now?

The Pier and the new building at the Pier Head hosts a wide range of visitor facilities. It now offers wider accessibility to all, with hands-on visitor exhibits on Clevedon and its surroundings, a community archive with links to local schools, a restaurant and shop, a venue for parties, weddings, meetings and events and, it claims, ‘the best fishing for miles around’.

Project: Clevedon Pier, Clevedon, Somerset

Client: Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust

Grade I Listed Building

New Use: A new building incorporated into the pier’s access ramp hosts a wide range of visitor facilities, including a community archive, restaurant and retail shop, together with a venue hire offer. The pier also claims, ‘the best fishing for miles around’.

Find out more at www.clevedonpier.co.uk

Professional Team
Architect and Project Manager O’Leary Goss Architects
Cost Consultant Trevor Humphreys Associates
Structural Engineer BDP
Building Services Engineer Houghton Greenlees & Associates
Contractor Beard

Other Project Funders
Heritage Lottery Fund £720,000
Coastal Communities Fund £825,000
J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust £75,000
Garfield Weston Foundation £50,000
Charles Hayward Foundation £15,000
North Somerset Council (S106) funding £50,000
Clevedon Town Council £35,000
The Hawthorns Retirement, Clevedon £15,000
Donations/ fundraising £30,110
Non-AHF community shares £250,000

 

How Did The AHF Help?

The AHF have been involved with Clevedon Pier since the establishment of the Trust in 1980. We provided a loan to help with the initial major rebuilding and refurbishment scheme, and in 2012 provided a further loan to provide working-capital finance for the new project.

Clevedon Pier provides an inspiring case study for community engagement and support providing a clear impact on a successful project outcome. The community has supported the venture strongly by contributing £250,000 from around 1,100 investors toward the Community Share issue, and in March 2016, the AHF was also able to purchase a further £80,000 worth of shares to further assist the project finances. 

All Images on this page (c) Craig Auckland / fotohaus.

Bute Mills, Luton

Architectural Heritage Fund

What’s so special about this place?

One of the most iconic buildings in Luton, Bute Mills was built in 1910 as a steam flour mill. It is a rare survivor of the town’s built heritage following wholesale redevelopment of the town centre in the 1960s. Its distinctive profile can be glimpsed from the mainline train travelling to and from Luton. The large interior spaces remained from its industrial past and have been utilised as part of the design scheme.

Why was the building under threat?

Although the building had been refurbished in the 1990s as light industrial or office accommodation, it had lain empty for a number of years until it was purchased in 2013 by Youthscape. Like any unused building, it was therefore vulnerable to arson and vandalism. Without any obvious end use until the charity became involved, there was a further risk of ongoing redundancy and decay.

How was it saved?

Youthscape undertook a fundraising campaign to purchase the building once it had identified it as a suitable base. The then owner agreed to see for a fixed price and allowed the charity sufficient time to raise the funds. The £3.2M restoration was funded by a number of charitable trusts and foundations.

How is the building used now?

In spring 2016, Bute Mills reopened as a UK centre of excellence to support the emotional and physical well-being of vulnerable young people, incorporating the provision of spaces for counselling and activities for 11-19 year-olds, together with office accommodation for the charity. Since moving to its new home Youthscape has been able to expand its drop-in work for young people from one night to five nights per week, expanding its reach from 25-30 young people to 100-150 young people per month.

How did the AHF help?

When Youthscape acquired the building, it understandably did not possess any specialist knowledge of the historic built environment. Advice was sought from the AHF about funding sources, and we were able to provide grants toward the development of the design and fit-out scheme. Early-stage grants allowed Youthscape to undertake initial design work to allow the building to be fitted out to its specialist requirements.

Project: Bute Mills, Luton, Beds

Client: Youthscape is a charity devoted to supporting the emotional and physical well-being of 11 to 19 year-olds. Its vision is to develop ground-breaking work with young people locally that can be shared with others nationally.

New use: Since Youthscape’s formation in 1993, it had grown in size considerably, now offering different outputs that could not be housed in its previous premises. It therefore identified Bute Mills as being a suitable size and location for its continued activities

Professional Team
Architects: HOK
Structural Engineers: Simpson Associates
Project Management:  Tower 8
Cost Consultant: Core Fie
M&E Consultancy: Troup Bywaters _ Anders
Main Contractor: Structure Tone

Other Project Funders
Edith Winifred Hall Charitable Trust £95,000
Maurice & Hilda Laing Trust £350,000
The Amateurs Trust £300,000
Bradbury Foundation £250,000
The Steel Charitable Trust £145,840
The Arthur Souster Charitable Trust £130,000
Garfield Weston Foundation £100,000
The Hadley Trust £100,000
The Connolly Foundation £50,000
The Clothworkers Foundations £50,000
The Beale Trust £37,800
Margaret Giffen Trust £20,000
Heritage Lottery Fund £37,500
Others £404,000
Total £2,925,140

AHF’s early support of the project in December 2013 was key in helping us to undertake initial design work and to begin to turn our vision for Bute Mills into reality. The building was in need of a total overhaul of the heating and electrical systems, and we were seeking to design a dynamic and modern lighting schema to bring the building back to life. AHF caught our vision and their support has helped us to create a design that is modern, energy efficient and preserves the incredible architectural of Bute Mills.
— Fiona Green, Project Manager, Youthscape

Dronfield Hall Barn, Dronfield, Derbyshire

Architectural Heritage Fund

What’s so special about this place?

Listed Grade II*, Dronfield Hall Barn is built around the high quality oak king post framework of an early 15th century timber-framed manor house, the oldest surviving domestic building in the town. Evidence within the structure suggests the Hall may have had a Medieval dais canopy, positioned above the Lord of the Manor’s seat at the high table when entertaining guests of distinction. It was converted to a barn in the 17th century, clad in sandstone and roofed in stone slate. The barn formed part of the Hall Farm complex of buildings owned by the Rotherham-Cecil estate, with cottages and workshops standing in front.

Its most important function now is as a unique community hub, using a networking model to bring together the skills and resources of local people.

Why was the building under threat?

The building, with surrounding land, was gifted to the Peel Centre in 2004 on condition that it was used for the benefit of the town’s community.  Unused for over ten years, it was in very poor condition, rapidly deteriorating, and unsafe. Dronfield Heritage Trust was formed from volunteers in the town to take on the project. Over 3000 townspeople voted for the building to be a heritage, natural history and arts centre, but it was a serious challenge. The Grade II* listing allowed minimal changes to the envelope and the small footprint, an L shape with 20m x 6m main range with a 6m x 6m south wing, presented huge difficulties for public gatherings.

How Was It Saved? 

A grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) in 2008 funded an Options Appraisal, and an AHF Project Development Grant in 2012 enabled the bids for capital funds. The Trust, using the skills of its retired professionals, also garnered hundreds of letters of support and recruited 280 Friends of Dronfield Hall Barn. The Trust has developed the Friends group, drawn in expertise from volunteers to use their skills to benefit their community. £1.45m was raised from The Heritage Lottery Fund, Viridor Credits and Garfield Weston. Most importantly, the donations from generous private individuals across the town tipped the fund over the £1.3m mark and enabled a start on the construction work in January 2015. 

Project: Dronfield Hall Barn
Client:  Dronfield Heritage Trust

New Use: restored building opened in February 2016 as a heritage, natural history and arts centre providing volunteering opportunities, working with older people.

Find out more at: http://www.dronfieldhallbarn.org

Professional team:

Architects:  Mitchell Proctor
Quantity Surveyors:  Patrick Meads and Associates
Structural Engineers:  Project Design Associates
Project Design Associates: M & Design Consultants:  E P Consulting
Main Contractors: W M Birch and Sons Ltd

Other Project Funders:

Heritage Lottery Fund £1,269,400
Local donations £188,979
Vindor Credits £149,000
Garfield Weston Foundation £40,00
Charles Hayward Foundation £2,500
Total £1,649,879

 

How Is The Building Used Now?

The restored building now has a first floor exhibitions gallery and functions space topped by the medieval timbered roof. The heritage visitor centre and refreshment area is on the ground floor. A contemporary extension provides high specification catering kitchen, visitor cloakrooms and an education/seminar facility. The building has an advanced audio-visual facility throughout for heritage and visitor information. This uses unique software designed and developed by volunteer IT specialists. 4000 items from the town archives are digitally captured and all townspeople can access these.

Rather than compete for audiences with existing voluntary organisations, the Dronfield Heritage Trust created a unique partnership scheme for the principal heritage, natural history and arts groups in Dronfield. Their members become members of the trust, their experienced volunteers develop and deliver activities and the trust provides professional help with membership management, finance, event bookings and publicity. This network connects and networks all the organisations, enabling each to recruit for trustees and members from a wider pool, strengthening the whole community, and opening opportunities for sharing ideas. Total memberships now exceed 1000. Their subscriptions, publications and activity participation fees provide 50% of core income and room letting fees for catering, functions and meetings provide the remainder. Over 120 registered volunteers are involved in all aspects of the operation from management to stewarding.

How Did The AHF Help?

The AHF funded an Options Appraisal in 2008, which identified that a sustainable community hub could be run from the restored building. The building suffered from repeated vandalism and it proved difficult for the Trust to sustain its volunteers: the Cold Spot Grants proved useful in enabling further development of the initial ideas. In 2012 an AHF Project Development Grant enabled the Trust to bid for and secure capital funding. 

Sail Loft, Portsoy, Aberdeenshire

Architectural Heritage Fund

Image (c) Colin Maclean Photography

Image (c) Colin Maclean Photography

What’s So Special About This Place?

Project: Sail Loft, Back Green, Portsoy, Aberdeenshire
Client: North East Scotland Preservation Trust

Category B Listed
On Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland since 1997


New Use: Bunkhouse accommodation for up to 25 people

Find out more at www.nespt.org

Professional team
Architect: LDN Architects
Quantity Surveyor: The Torrance Partnership
Structural Engineer: AF Cruden Associates
Valuation Surveyor: Graham & Sibbald
Project co-ordinator: Paul Higson, NESPT

Other project funders
Heritage Lottery Fund £873,500
Coastal Communities Fund £601,148
Historic Environment Scotland (Portsoy CARS) £360,200
Portsoy Community Enterprise £74,800
North East Scotland PT £17,243Total £1,926,891

Portsoy harbour developed as a busy trading port in the 17th and early 18th centuries. These buildings date from the 18th Century and comprise a former Sail Making Loft, a finely detailed Georgian House and two associated cottages.

The open area at Back Green was once an industrial site used for the manufacture of thread for flax. The area of “green” was utilised for the bleaching of flax, the reliable water supply from the nearby burn providing ideal conditions for bleaching. The name “Back Green” probably derives from bleaching green. The finished thread was exported to Nottingham and Leicester.

By the early 19th Century, the site contained two groups of buildings – the one to the seaward side operated as a rope making business, while the manufacture of sails took place within the eastern range, adjacent to the house and cottages.

Why Was The Building Under Threat?

 

The ropeworks fell into decline and have since been lost to the sea; the former sail making factory, house and cottages survived, albeit in increasingly derelict and dangerous state. The buildings were abandoned in the 1970s and have been empty and decaying ever since. They were first added to the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland in 1997. Early plans for conversion to housing were stopped because of the risk of flooding from the nearby burn.

How Was It Saved?

North East Scotland Preservation Trust acquired the buildings from the Seafield Estate in 2006 and has been working to find a viable project to bring them back into productive use ever since. It acquired the freehold of the site for £1, and, with the help of further AHF support, was eventually able to develop a viable proposal which attracted nearly £2 million in grant funding. The Sail Loft has created new jobs, supported local businesses and brought additional economic benefit to the area. In particular, this is the first completed project in Scotland to have benefited from the HLF’s new Heritage Enterprise programme.

How Is The Building Used Now?

The building is now high-quality self-catering accommodation for up to 25 visitors and includes a fully accessible bedroom and bathroom, with a communal kitchen and lounge areas. It will be operated as a community business by the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival. A walled garden is being developed alongside. This new development will encourage visitors to further explore the local area on foot and by bike, with a new cycle storage hub included in the basement of the building.

How Did The AHF Help?

The AHF’s involvement with the project goes back to 2000, when it first offered funding towards a feasibilty study but this did not initially lead to a scheme being developed. It took the development of the Heritage Enterprise approach to be able support the development of a revenue generating long term sustainable use for these important buildings, with further input from an AHF project development grant to firm up the revised plans. Once capital funds had been confirmed, an AHF working capital loan was required to underwrite the project costs while on site to help deliver the completed project in late 2016.

Images courtesy of Paul Higson / NESPT.

Portland Works, Sheffield

Architectural Heritage Fund

What’s so special about this place?

The Grade II* listed Portland Works is one of the last remaining working examples of a purpose-built metal trades factory. It was here, in 1914, that Harry Brearly produced the world’s first stainless steel cutlery. The building is a courtyard-style complex of workshops and offices built in 1879 as an integrated cutlery factory, housing all the processes in cutlery making. It now houses a rich variety of 32 tenants including a specialist knife-maker, silver plater and other skilled metal workers in the tradition of the ‘little mesters’ (self-employed cutlery workers) on which Sheffield’s reputation and identity were forged. It also accommodates artists, musicians and other creative craftspeople.

Why was the building under threat?

In 2009 the owner applied for permission to convert the building into flats, which would have ended 130 years of manufacturing on the site. The building is in poor condition and there is a backlog of repairs estimated at £2 million.

How was it saved?

A campaign to buy the building by its tenants and supporters resulted in the formation of a Community Benefit Society and a Community Share issue which raised over £250,000 over 18 months – a testament to the strength of feeling locally and determination  to keep the building as a place for ‘makers’ in the 21st century. There are now more than 500 shareholders.

Where is the project at now?

Portland Works operates as a community-owned social enterprise, letting workspace at affordable rents to support small-scale manufacturing and creative businesses. It is run entirely by volunteers – there are 40 regular helpers out of 70 overall. The aim is to develop the site as an educational resource and heritage attraction, alongside its business use. The Society has organised public open days several times per year and these have grown into bigger events, with popular cutlery and craft fairs in 2014 and 2015 each bringing in around 400 people.

There is an on-going programme of repairs and conservation work, bringing more disused areas back into use. In 2016 the Society secured a Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Our Heritage’ grant for repairs to roofs and chimneys and for an Education and Development Worker to meet demand for educational activities on the site.

Building: Portland Works, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Organisation: Portland Works Little Sheffield Limited

AHF support: £10,000 Cold Spots Grant, 2012-13; £200,000 Acquisition loan, 2013; £70,000 of loan converted to Community Shares, March 2016; £9,200 Additional Community Shares purchase offer, June 2016.

Outcome: Community buy-out

Find out more at: www.portlandworks.co.uk

 

How Did The AHF Help?

The community buy-out would not have been possible without an AHF loan to plug the gap between the acquisition cost and the amount raised via Community Shares. This enabled the purchase to be completed on 28th February 2013. A £10,000 grant also enabled the Society to complete a range of surveys and to develop a prioritised plan of work to address the building’s repair needs. The AHF has also invested in the site long-term by purchasing Community Shares.

The Toll House, Stratford-upon-Avon

Architectural Heritage Fund

AHF Support Summary:

The Support Officer worked closely with the group which became the Stratford Historic Buildings Trust, Stratford District Council and Historic England to develop the ideas for the re-use of the building.

New Use Summary:

The building will be restored for use as offices, with a new mezzanine floor and internal staircase. The basement (which occasionally floods) will be used as a temporary exhibition and interpretation space. 

What’s So Special About This Place?

The ten-sided Toll House was built in 1814 and is attached to the fifteenth century Clopton Bridge, a Scheduled Monument. Within 25 years it the levying of a toll had ended and the building and adjacent area, known as Avon Wharf, was bought by James Cox, a timber merchant. The Toll House is most associated with the subsequent 150 years of use as an office within Cox’s Yard. It is an iconic but small structure and after the business closed in 1997, no longer had a use. Designated among the most important and exceptional 2.5% of our national built heritage, it is Grade I listed and is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.

Why did the AHF get involved?

In 2012 the AHF, supported by Historic England, appointed regional Support Officers who were tasked with exploring ways to remove buildings at risk from the Register. The Support Officer made contact with the Stratford Society. A small sub-group of the Society wanted to rescue and restore this building, and the AHF was able to provide early stage grants, support and advice.

 

Project

The Toll House, Clopton Bridge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

 

Client

Stratford Historic Buildings Trust

Find out more at http://www.stratfordhbt.co.uk

 

Why Was The Building Under Threat?

Unused for almost twenty years and without an obvious use, the interior has lost its upper floor. Stratford District Council, which owns the Toll House, has kept it wind and watertight, but under increasing financial pressure, needed to find a way to ensure its sustainable future.

How Was It Saved?

AHF’s early stage grants enabled the Trust to employ a small team led by a conservation-accredited architect to carry out an Options Appraisal and identify a sustainable new use. Initially things did not look promising, but the Trust has shown persistence and their determination to succeed is paying off.

How Is The Building Used Now?

Work in progress – the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a first round Heritage Enterprise grant of £10,500 towards the development work, and the Trust awaits the result of their round two application. They have drawn up detailed plans for the project and if successful, work should start in Autumn 2016.

Florence Institute, Liverpool

Architectural Heritage Fund

AHF Support Summary

The AHF provided a working-capital loan for the duration of the restoration work, to ensure cashflow was maintained and prevent any stoppages to work.

New Use Summary

Open seven days a week, the building offers a wide variety of participatory activities for people of all ages, multi-purpose event spaces available for hire and fully inclusive workspaces for businesses.

What’s So Special About This Place?

Built in 1889, the Florrie was the first building in Britain to be specifically constructed as a boys’ youth club. It served the working and unemployed youth of the dockside area of The Dingle in Liverpool for almost 100 years until its closure.

Why did the AHF get involved?

The Trust identified a funding gap that could be overcome by a loan offer so that the restoration could commence on site.

Why Was The Building Under Threat?

Towards the end of 1980s funding for the Institute dried up and in 1987 the building was sold for development. It grew increasingly derelict over the following 20 years.

How Was It Saved?

In 2004 the plight of the Florrie was featured as part of the Liverpool Echo’s “Stop the Rot” campaign which raised the profile of the derelict building widely.  The Florence Institute Trust Ltd was formed by concerned members of the local community to find a new and sustainable use. It went on to raise over £6M funding for its comprehensive restoration.

Project:

The Florence Institute for Boys, 377 Mill Street, Liverpool, L8 4RB

Client:

The Florence Institute Trust

Find out more at www.theflorrie.org

 

How Is The Building Used Now?

The Florrie once again serves the locality by providing new jobs and much needed community facilities. There is managed workspace for local entrepreneurs and businesses, flexible community space for events, conferences, exhibitions and youth activities and a multi-functional events hall that encompasses everything from knitting, to keep fit and parties.

How Did The AHF Help?

The Trust approached the AHF whilst there was still a shortfall with capital funding, so that a loan offer could allow work to begin without any delay. Subsequently the facility was used as working capital, to pay contractors inbetween payments from capital grant funders, avoiding costly delays.

Gorton Monastery, Manchester

Architectural Heritage Fund

AHF Support Summary
 

The AHF first became involved shortly after the Trust was formed, offering a grant for feasibility work. This was followed by further development funding, and a working-capital loan of £700,000 to assist with cashflow for the duration of the restoration project.

New Use Summary


The building is used for a variety of community functions and is open weekly to the public. It also hosts events such as weddings, meetings and conferences, and is a widely-recognised cultural and community venue. All proceeds from these events are donated to the Trust to support ongoing maintenance and conservation work.

What’s So Special About This Place?
 

The Church and Monastery of St Francis was built between 1866 and 1872 by Edward Pugin.  The church was the tallest single storey building in Manchester, and was built largely by volunteer labour from within the local community.

Why did the AHF got involved? 

The site had been included on the World Monument Fund’s Watch List of the 100 most endangered sites in the world when the AHF was asked to become involved.

 

Project


The Church and Monastery of St. Francis, Gorton Lane, Gorton, Manchester

Client

The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust Ltd

Find out more at www.themonastery.co.uk

 

Why Was The Building Under Threat?
 

The Gorton Monastery remained an important part of the community for over 100 years but in the early 1970s the terraced housing in the area began to be demolished and the community relocated.  In 1991 the complex was sold to a developer who went bankrupt before starting to convert the church into luxury flats.  The buildings were seriously vandalised whilst in the hands of the receiver, and anything of value stolen.

How Was It Saved?


The Trust was formed in 1996 with the sole purpose of saving and restoring the Gorton Monastery. It raised funds for the £6½M restoration scheme, and continues to develop the site with a new £3M fundraising campaign for a Welcome Wing, as well as further conservation work.

How Is The Building Used Now?
 

The site is open for a variety of community events, tours and concerts, and is a wedding and award-winning conference venue.

How Did The AHF Help?
 

The Trust has enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the AHF stretching back 20 years, and has acknowledged the encouragement and financial support provided throughout this time. This ranged from early-stage feasibility work, to see whether the plan was financially viable, to support during the fundraising stage with other capital funders, followed by a working-capital loan to ensire that cashflow was maintained for the duration of the restoration work.

Govan Fairfield Yard Offices, Glasgow

Architectural Heritage Fund

Project: Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Office, Govan, Glasgow, Scotland

Client: Govan Workspace Limited

AHF Support: Options Appraisal Grant, 2007-08; Working capital loan, 2013-14

New Use: 18,000 sq. ft. of managed workspaces and offices to let; Volunteer-run Heritage rooms

Find out more at www.fairfieldgovan.co.uk

What’s So Special About This Place?

Think of Glasgow and you think of shipbuilding on the Clyde. It is central to the city’s, and Scotland’s identity. Govan has been at the heart of this industry since the 19th century. The Category A listed Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Office has been described as the best in Britain. Completed in 1891 to designs by John Honeyman and Keppie, its imposing red sandstone façade extends for 350 feet along Govan Road. This is where some of the most famous Clydeside ships were designed and launched, including Royal Navy battleships and transatlantic liners. Fairfields was also the venue of the famous Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in in 1971, led by union shop stewards to prevent the closure of the Govan yards.

Why Was The Building Under Threat?

The building was closed in 2001 when it was deemed surplus to requirements by BAE Systems, the shipyard operator. Its condition steadily deteriorated and by 2004 it was boarded up and included on Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register. It became symbolic of the decline of shipbuilding on the Clyde and the neglected Govan community.

How Was It Saved?

The building’s fortunes changed for the better when Govan Workspace got involved. This social enterprise is deeply rooted in the local community. Since the late 1970s it has supported the creation of jobs in Govan by acquiring redundant buildings and converting them into managed workspaces with support services. In 2007 it was contacted by the building’s owners, Clydeport plc, who had been unable to find a viable future for the site. Govan Workspace acquired the building in 2009 and commenced on a £1.4 million emergency repairs contract, funded by Historic Scotland and Glasgow City Council. Over subsequent years it raised the £5.8 million required to repair and adapt it into a centre for start-up businesses, with space set aside for telling the story of the building and its place in Glasgow’s industrial and social history. Pat Cassidy was the driving force behind the project.

How Is The Building Used Now?

This iconic building has regained its place as a centre of industry and activity in Govan. The Fairfield Heritage Centre includes the former boardroom, management offices, directors’ dining room and main entrance and lobby. Modern office suites occupy the former drawing offices on the first floor and the former counting house on the ground floor.

How Did The AHF Help?

The AHF awarded Govan Workspace a grant of £11,720 in December 2007 towards the cost of an options appraisal. This gave Govan Workspace the confidence to acquire the building and develop detailed proposals for bringing it back into commercial use.  

A £125,000 working capital loan acted as a ‘bridging facility’ in 2013-14.

Argos Hill Windmill, Rotherfield, East Sussex

Architectural Heritage Fund

What’s so special about this place?

Argos Hill Windmill is a post mill, the earliest form of windmill design, constructed so that the mill body can rotate around its central post to face the wind.  Only 50 post mills survive in the United Kingdom.  As a relatively rare survival, with all its machinery intact and distinctive fantail driven tailpole, Argos Hill is listed Grade II*.  Clad in white weatherboard with a red cap, the Windmill is a significant landmark within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. When it was built in around 1835, industrial activity was widespread in the countryside, in quarries, sawmills and forges.  The mill enabled the surrounding  rural communities to process the grain they grew, a story which resonates with today's interest in locally sourced produce and reducing food miles. 

Why Was The Building At Risk?

After its closure, the Windmill passed into local authority ownership and following years of decline, was added to Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register.  In 2008 it was proposed to dismantle and store the building.   

How Was It Saved?

A local campaign led to the formation of the Argos Hill Windmill Trust, which took on a 99 year lease of the mill in 2011 and secured its restoration.  Whilst the major repairs were undertaken by a millwright, significant sections of work have been undertaken by volunteers, contributing their skills and gaining new ones.  The whole community has been involved, whether in supporting fundraising events or offering help, a testament to the importance they attach to this local heritage landmark.

Organisation: Argos Hill Windmill Trust Ltd

AHF supportCold Spots Grant; Challenge Fund Grant; advice and support

New Use:  Interpretation centre

Websitewww.argoshillwindmill.org.uk

Professional Team:
Chartered Building Surveyor (Project Manager): John Moat, Douglas Moat Practice
Structural Engineer: James Tasker, Campbell Reith
Millwright: Jeremy Hold Engineering Ltd

Other project funders:
Heritage Lottery Fund £100, 000
Wealden District Council £88,000
Trust’s own resources (including donations and local fundraising) £46,211
Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundations and Historic England (Challenge Fund) £23,000
Charles Hayward Foundation £3,000
Rotherfield Trust £2,000

Total £262,211

 

How is the building used now?

The interior, with all its machinery intact and mill body are fully restored and sweeps reinstated. Newly built steps enable people to see inside, with a digital tour available in the Roundhouse for those unable to make the climb, together with interpretation to tell the story of the Mill.  

How did the AHF help?

We provided two grants.  The first of £2,386 was under our Cold Spots scheme funded by the Pilgrim Trust, the John Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Foundation and Historic England.  This enabled the Trust to develop a detailed specification and drawings as part of their project development.  We also provided a Challenge Fund grant of £23,000.  This grant scheme was funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and Historic England, and unusually for the AHF this supported capital works.  The Trust was established using the governance model for a building preservation trust, provided by the UK Association of Preservation Trusts in partnership with the AHF. We also provided advice on developing a fundraising strategy and putting together the case for financial support.