New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Industrial Heritage at Risk

Posted October 23rd, 2011 by Birmingham Conservation Trust with No Comments

The largest ever research project into the condition of England’s industrial heritage has been published by English Heritage this month together with the annual Heritage at Risk Register.

The research into England’s industrial heritage has revealed that listed buildings are more at risk than almost any other kind of heritage. 10.6% of industrial buildings grade I and II* are at risk, an extraordinarily high number compared to the 3% of grade I and II* buildings which are at risk in England. Furthermore, findings have shown that the best way of saving industrial buildings is, where possible, to find an adaptive new use.

Birmingham’s grade II* listed gas retort house on Gas Street, declared at risk in 2010 has been removed from 2011’s Heritage at Risk Register. English Heritage has praised the gasworks as an example to other endangered buildings across the UK. Ashtenne purchased the building 8 years ago and completed structural work to walls and the replacement of roof coverings. Dr Sarah Lewis from English Heritage has noted that “the retort house’s location means it’s got a decent outlook for commercial re-use”. Although the building is empty and on the market the owners are currently in negotiation with a company considering turning it into a gym and crèche.

Birmingham's Retort House

For more information on English Heritage’s at Risk register and Industrial Heritage at Risk Project click here.

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