Buildings at Risk: recent update news from the East Midlands - July 2020

6th July 2020

The successful conversion of a number of industrial buildings in the East Midlands have been revealed in our recent update of buildings at risk in this area.  Across the region, the update has also highlighted schemes about to move forward but many sites are still looking for fresh ideas and impetus.  A few are for sale and could make fascinating and unique projects.

Success stories

The Manager's House at the Darley Abbey Mill site in Derby is grade II listed and stands in a conservation area within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.  The mill buildings on this site had been derelict since the 1970s.  After urgent repair works were carried out in 2011 and an official regeneration strategy approved by the council, the former Manager's House has been restored as boutique accomodation for the wedding venue located in the nearby mill buildings.  The rest of the West Mill site has been converted to offices, workshops, studios and galleries, creating interesting and flexible work spaces.  

Other industrial sites which have been adapted to new uses include grade II* listed 18th century Torr Vale Mills in Derbyshire's Peak District, now also a wedding and events venue and offices.  In North East Lincolnshire, Hewitts Brewery (also known as the Cooperage) in Grimsby has just been converted into apartments, the last of which are still available to buy. This is a locally listed building which was recognised as making a positive contribution to the conservation area in which it is located.  This fact was successfully advanced as a reason to save it when demolition was proposed some years ago.

Still at risk

There are many other industrial sites which are still at risk.  These include the grade II Railway Warehouse at the former Friar Gate Station in Derby and the grade II Great Northern Warehouse at the former London Road Station in Nottingham.  In the case of the latter, a scheme is expected shortly for its conversion and the wider site around it already has approved proposals for an extensive regeneration project.  Throughout the region there are a variety of buildings including farms, grand houses, barracks, theatres, mills and cottages that are still at risk. 

Promising developments 

Alongside the buildings with no future yet determined, there are a number of other promising developments.  Grade II* Wingfield Station in Derbyshire has been taken over by the experienced building preservation trust, Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust, following a Compulsory Purchase Order issued by Amber Valley Borough Council.  The process has taken several years. The station at Wingfield was built in 1840 to the designs of Francis Thompson and is thought to be one of the earliest stations in England. 

Amber Valley Council has also announced its intention to issue a compulsory purchase order in relation to the grade II former Pottery Methodist Church in Belper.  After many years of deterioration the chapel and its adjoining schoolroom are in a very poor condition. The council intend to convert the buildings to residential units.

In Grimsby, there has been some very welcome news in that Peterson's Fish Processing and Smoking Factory is to be restored.  The grade II buildings have received planning permission and listed building consent for a return to a functioning smokehouse.  Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust are in the final stages of applying for a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out the work.  The Architectural Heritage Fund has also been involved.  This is part of the wider project to regenerate the network of streets known as the Kasbah in the old dock area.  The Great Grimsby Ice Factory itself is also on our register and discussions are on-going to try to find a viable new use for it.

For sale

There are currently three buildings for sale in this region, two of them churches.  The tiny Church of St Margaret in Hawerby-cum-Beebsy in Lincolnshire is for sale for £250,000 through Express Estate Agency with a consented scheme for conversion to a one bed house and artist studio (not a three bed house as the particulars suggest).  Click here for a link to further information.

Also for sale is the grade I Church of St Oswald, Dunham on Trent in Nottinghamshire.  This historic and beautiful building is available to purchase to a buyer who can propose an appropriate new use and demonstrate a track record in the conversion of historic buildings. It is on the market through Brown & Co.

Ollerton Hallerton Hall (grade II*) in Nottinghamshire has also just gone on the market.  Newark and Sherwood District Council has spent a significant amount on emergency works to this beautiful house and it is now in better condition than it has been for some time.   In 2019,  the council shortlisted 3 potential partners to take on the site, but we have just heard that the property is on the market again.  Click here for the particulars.