Leek based architects ctd architects were successful in winning three awards for their conservation work on The West Mill, Darley Abbey Mills, Derby, winning the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) East Midlands awards in the Building Conservation and Tourism & Leisure categories; and also the Derby City Council George Rennie award for the quality of the renovation work in the re-use of the Grade 1 Listed former cotton mill
34 of the East Midlands’ most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the sell-out RICS awards ceremony, hosted by TV Presenter Angelica Bell, with over 200 local property professionals in attendance.
All category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the RICS Awards Grand Final on Thursday 2 November 2017 in London, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.
The West Mill and The Long Mill are highly significant and nationally and internationally important heritage assets and represent an important part of Derbyshire’s industrial architectural history and a key component of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
The Grade I Listed building ‘The West Mill,’ on English Heritage’s ‘Buildings at Risk’ register when it was purchased by the client, had lain largely empty since the 1960s. The owner’s vision was to regenerate the building to create a bespoke and unique exclusive-use hospitality wedding venue. The West Mill Venue opened for its first weddings in July 2015 and has since welcomed over 20,000 guests into the building whilst the adjoining Long Mill hosts 4 floors of small creative enterprise business units.
The judges were very impressed with the owner’s commitment and determination to retain and preserve every possible historical feature of the existing building, sympathetically enhancing other areas with new additions required to support the on-going use.
A careful design, and considered approach, through appropriate and quality material choice and attention to detail to maintain the visual function and scale of the historic working floor space and conserve original architectural character, was adopted.
This restoration and re-purposing of a very significant local building has resulted not only in the whole building being brought back into use but has also created a fantastic venue for people to enjoy for many years to come. A continuing use and associated income stream will help to preserve the heritage value and significance of the site; supporting its future sustainability and conservation for generations to come. The new venue is also making a very positive contribution to local employment and the economy.
The building also won the George Rennie award for outstanding renovation, which celebrates the best developments in Derby based on design, craftsmanship and enhancement of conservation features. The Award was created by the Conservation Area Advisory Committee and is dedicated to the memory of George Rennie who was for many years the City’s Principal Conservation Officer.
Chris Hesketh, Architect Director at ctd architects said “We are honoured that ctd’s sensitive and considered work on the Darley Abbey Mills has been recognised with these three awards, especially the building conservation and the enhanced use of the building to support its future sustainability”