The conservation and railway knowledge of award-winning architect, Howarth Litchfield, has led to the firm’s appointment by Redcar and Cleveland Council in relation to the redevelopment and upgrade of its Grade II listed Redcar Central Station.
The project, which has an estimated value of around £5.9m, is now the subject of a planning application and is part of Redcar and Cleveland Council’s ambitious strategy to upgrade the town with a series of landmark projects.
Howarth Litchfield was appointed following a competitive tender with a brief that includes architecture and interiors along with conservation and building surveying. The practice also has direct responsibility for the appointment of the mechanical and electrical engineers, Sine Consulting and structural engineers, BHG.
Identity Consult is providing project management and quantity surveying support to the Council and the overall project.
Howarth Litchfield has extensive heritage experience gained on other regional conservation-led schemes such as the redevelopment of the listed Shildon Railway Museum, the redevelopment and refurbishment of the Grade 1 listed Acklam Hall and Neville Hall, adjacent to Newcastle Railway station, which weighed heavily in the decision to appoint the practice.
Talking about the project and the challenges of building adjacent to a railway line, Howarth Litchfield director, Neil Turner, said that health and safety issues will be uppermost in the minds of all those involved.
“Building next to a railway is a challenge and how this can best be achieved is a topic which has been the subject of much discussion. We have a good conservation team and together with the support of the other professional bodies involved, our task will be made much easier.” He continued:
“In terms of developing our proposals for the project, we took an empty railway station which had been converted in the 1980s and have proposed stripping back the works to reveal the original building, adding a contemporary shopping and leisure experience with the creation of commercial and retail units at the ground floor, whilst at the same time, revealing the history of railways and engineering.
“To be innovative – as the original building designers were – we also propose the addition of sustainable heating and lighting so that the building can be lit and warmed as efficiently as possible. The introduction of south-facing solar panels is also proposed together with upgrades to insulation and new weatherproofing.”
The refurbishment of Redcar Central Station will greatly benefit the town and the wider borough in several ways, as Councillor Chris Gallacher, cabinet member for economic growth at Redcar and Cleveland Council, explained when the plans were unveiled. He said:
“If given the go ahead, this scheme will not only provide a new leisure and retail facility within the station itself, which local people can be proud of, it will also create jobs during the construction phase, in the running of the station and through the employment opportunities that will be created by the businesses which will base themselves there.
“Existing local businesses will also benefit from the increased visitor numbers using the revitalised station. It is a further significant development for the town and will provide another fitting gateway to the wider borough.”
The planning application has been made following a pre-application consultation process, feedback from which has informed the final design. Determination is expected at some stage in December
Funding for the project has been allocated from the Redcar Growth Fund and Welcome to Redcar and Cleveland Fund administered by the TVCA.