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Progress Update: Rutland Mills

Procure Partnerships Framework contractor partner Sewell Construction is currently on-site making considerable progress at Rutland Mills on behalf of Wakefield Council and City & Provincial Properties.

The project was secured via the Procure Partnerships Yorkshire Framework.

The vision for Rutland Mills is to create an extension of the Tileyard brand with the same collaborative, creative, community ethos at the core of the project. Rutland Mills is adjacent to the site of The Hepworth Wakefield, the City’s internationally acclaimed art gallery. The current redevelopment is the final stage of a regeneration masterplan that will give 10 acres of Wakefield’s historic riverside a new lease of life and see it become a significant cultural destination in the North of England.

The site comprises of a number of retained buildings constructed between 1872 and 1875 from a mixture of red brickwork, stone, structural timber and light frame steel roof trusses. These buildings have stood unused for the past 20 years resulting in disrepair and deterioration of the building fabric and structure.

Due to the fact these buildings have been untouched for the past 20 years Sewell Construction have certainly faced their fair share of challenges along the way. Unsafe structure, restricted or limited access due to wet rot, dry rot and constant water ingress attacking the integrity of the structures and extensive build-up of guano waste to name a few! However, Sewell Construction were quick to identify solutions to continue working on the project in good time. Including A systematic approach to temporary works and the installation of temporary propping which then provides access to regular cleaning and removal of Guano, repeating on each level of the building.

However, Unidentified decay, asbestos and a high concentration of lead has also been detected on site. A full building survey is due to be carried out at each level, once results are confirmed further work can safely commence. Further risk of asbestos and lead will also be identified when the strip – out works progress and the previously enclosed fabric of the building are exposed. Once again, Sewell Construction have gone above and beyond to ensure optimal safety on site.

Paul Kempe, Director of City & Provincial Properties, commented: “Tileyard has become one of the biggest creative hubs in the world and we are excited that Wakefield will be our Tileyard flagship for the North. We look forward to transforming Rutland Mills into a vibrant destination for creative and collaborative partnerships in music, film, TV, design, new media and indeed all facets of the commercial creative sectors.”

Jon Webster, Sewell Construction, Project Manager, Commented: “Living within the Wakefield postcode and seeing these buildings fall into disrepair over the last 20 years and the opportunity to be a part of the Sewell Construction team that will be responsible for bring life back into the development wasn’t going to be missed. The unknowns and differences across each building bring with it the need for proactive planning, the ability to diversify and a thinking on your feet approach to problem solving. In the short time we’ve been onsite we are already seeing the excitement growing within the local community and the willingness for the scheme to be a success. As a Team we aim to hand over this project in the knowledge that we have reenergised this part of the City with this exciting new venue, gained the respect of the community and continue our ever-growing relationship with our client.”

Natalie Palframan, Procure Partnerships Framework, Key Account Manager, Commeneted: “We’re always proud to support regenerative projects such as this. It is particularly rewarding knowing how important this project is to the local community, after being left as redundant buildings for so many years. Our contractor partner, Sewell, have successfully managed some difficult challenges in the programme so far, and we’re pleased to see progress taking shape for Wakefield Council, City & Provincial Properties and the local community”.

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