Developer Allied London has updated on the progress of restoration works under way at the grade two-listed Manchester fire station, with plans to start work on the main conversion phase next year.
London Road was acquired in 2015 from Britannia Hotels, and planning consent was granted in 2017 for a mixture of uses including hotel, workspace and hospitality, a revision of earlier proposals which would have also included apartments.
Managed by Allied London Development Management, the current works are part of a staged process, with creation of new uses within the building part of the second phase.
Heritage contractor Quadriga was appointed in September, to co-ordinate detailed restoration and work alongside several specialist trade subcontractors.
According to Allied London, “repair works are now in full flow on site following the finalisation of a long and very detailed collation of historical data, and detailed survey information and approval for a sequenced repair strategy”.
Cleaning of the terracotta façade is now almost complete, including to the Hose Drying Tower. Chimney stack repairs to the London Road section roof are also complete, and replacement terracotta units are being manufactured off-site by Darwen Terracotta.
Existing drainpipes are being disassembled to allow for necessary repairs and replacement works. Calibre Metalworks has formed bespoke patterns, to cast replica rainwater pipe brackets, including original matching fleur-de-lis details. In recent months, windows and external door repairs and replacement works have been finished.
Roofworks on the main and mansard roof sections include installing new timber battens and a breather membrane, then re-slating with existing roof slates where possible, mixed with replacement reclaimed slates where tiles are broken or missing. Timber and masonry repairs and treatment works are being undertaken internally to eradicate areas of rot and decay to the building.
Grant Jarvie, managing director of Allied London Development Management said: “The restoration of London Road Fire Station is an important milestone in the conservation of Manchester’s history. We are pleased with the progress so far and are working hard to get this project right.
“We are working alongside Watts Group and Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture to monitor the progress of the repair works. The next phase of works will involve the construction and re-adaption elements, and we are already in early discussions with suitably qualified and experienced construction partners to work with us to commence the conversion works in 2020.”
Allied London said the “ability to restore the building came from several months of detailed analysis and survey work, recording every defect and necessary repair. This was agreed with the heritage authorities; hence the building being surrounded by scaffold for so long”.