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Three examples of reinvigorated warehouse spaces since January

Posted by Marianne
June 23, 2014 in Features

The adaptive reuse of existing warehouse space in the UK has boomed in recent years, with industrial sites being reborn in many towns and cities as hotels, business centres and residential buildings.

While warehouses may not be viable for commercial use in their existing forms, after being redeveloped they can become successful and useful spaces once again. Since the beginning of the year, there have been a number of transformations carried out in the UK, with the following being prime examples:

1. From a furniture store to a creative hub

In Swansea, a warehouse on King’s Lane that had been unused for almost 20 years is being revitalised by its conversion into a headquarters for businesses working in the creative industries. The building was previously used for more than a century by the furniture manufacturing company Down and Sons.

The warehouse’s refurbishment involves reconstructing the interior space, while ensuring that the historic exterior remains intact to preserve the building’s heritage. Inside the warehouse, office partitions are being used to divide the existing large floor spaces, creating smaller areas that are more suitable for business use.

The building is already a survivor, having escaped destruction in World War II bombing raids on Swansea, and it now looks set to endure well into the future. A wider project that includes the land around the warehouse will see the construction of shops and houses, with an expected cost of around £25m.

2. A refurbished warehouse that encourages cycling

On Full Street in the centre of Derby, a riverside warehouse has been adapted to create a centre for bikes and cycling. Known as The Park Bikeworks, the building provides a bicycle shop, repair service and cafe.

The project has been designed with commuters and shoppers in mind, as it also offers secure storage facilities for 150 bicycles, as well as lockers for personal belongings and showers. Its aims include getting more people cycling in and around Derby, as well as reducing cycle theft.

In projects such as this, where the internal spaces need to be strong, durable and suitable for activities such as cycle maintenance work, the use of steel partitions enable developers to split up large warehouse floors to form robust areas of a useful size. Bennetts, the warehouse owners, along with the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund and the City Council, have backed the project, with the Local Sustainable Transport Fund also providing support.

3. A firm’s warehouse cools down as business hots up

With new contracts to fulfil, a packaging company has recently refurbished and upgraded its existing Blyth warehouse, spending more than £40,000 to construct an area suitable for temperature controlled storage.

This has enabled the firm, known as Assembly and Packaging Services, to store products such as pharmaceuticals and drinks. The redeveloped warehouse also allows the company to extend the confectionery side of its business.

Inside the warehouse, around five and a half thousand square feet has been separated off using insulation panels and plasterboard cladding, with strip curtains at the entrances to allow accurate control of the temperature within. A computer-controlled system maintains the desired temperature and alerts staff to any unwanted variations.

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