Sunday, May 19, 2024

Work starts on project to restore Hull building’s 1930s glamour

Major restoration work has begun on Hull’s landmark Grade II-listed Burton building to restore the crumbling granite façade and art deco windows to their 1930s grandeur by the end of the year..

The building’s modern shopfronts will be replaced with new frontages in keeping with the original style and design. The ground floor is being renovated to enable its use as a restaurant or retail outlet, with flexible space available on the upper floors.

The building, on the corner of Whitefriargate and Carr Lane in the city centre, has four floors, plus a basement, together covering 11,000 sq ft. The proposed retail or restaurant area on the ground floor will offer 2,400 sq ft of floorspace, with the first, second and third floors each covering 2,500 sq ft.

Regeneration specialist Wykeland Group is leading the project, working closely with Historic England and Hull City Council’s Conservation Officer.

The project is being carried out without occupiers lined up, underlining Hull-based Wykeland’s commitment to preventing a landmark building falling into dereliction and bringing it back into sustainable use.

Jonathan Stubbs, Development Director at Wykeland, said: “The start of restoration work marks the opening of an exciting new chapter for one of Hull’s most distinctive and recognisable buildings.

“Since acquiring the former Burton building, our priority has been to deliver a sympathetic, faithful restoration which will bring an important asset back into use.

“This project is an important part of our long-term commitment to the regeneration of the city centre and especially the gateway to Whitefriargate, which links the heart of the city with the Old Town and waterfront.

“It builds on our track record of successful regeneration in our home city, including our part in the transformation of the Fruit Market waterfront area from near dereliction into a thriving, mixed use community.”

As much as 80% of the granite cladding on the Burton building is damaged. Replacement granite has been sourced from the same quarry in Norway, matching the geographical origin of the original stone, which is in a poor condition.

The art deco windows, which have suffered heavily from corrosion and distortion, will be replaced with new windows which are sympathetic to the original style of the building.

The building’s shopfronts will be enhanced with a new design which reflects historical photos and drawings of the building, dating back to the 1930s, while the original entrance to the store will be reinstated. Three replica art deco-style Burton signs will also be installed in their original locations on the outside of the building, including parapet signage on the roof line.

Inside, significant restoration work has already seen the original lift refurbished, with the parquet floor extensive plasterwork to be undertaken in this next phase of work. The upper floors will see some walls removed to create bright, open-plan spaces.

Due to the extent of the restoration work and the building’s listed status, grant funding was essential to make the project viable. The project is being supported by £750,000 from the Levelling Up Fund Grant Scheme, with a further £450,000 grant from Historic England.

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