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ERW starts work on state-of-the-art centre for young people in Middlesbrough’s historic Grade 2 listed Custom House

13th September 2010

ERW’s specialist renovation team began work today on a project to transform the historically sensitive Grade 2 listed Custom House in Middlesbrough into a state-of-the-art community centre for young people. The regeneration is part of the £270 million grant funded myplace initiative which aims to create world class community facilities for young people aged 8 to 19 across the country. With doors due to open in Summer 2011, this new myplace venue will house a performance and dance hall, chill out space, crèche, climbing wall, media studio, interactive library, music facilities, gym and a bowling alley. Outdoors, there will be a multi-use sports pitch, allotments and wildlife gardens.

Lawrence Wall, ERW Managing Director comments: “Situated in St Hilda’s, Greater Middlehaven, most local people will be familiar with the Custom House which stands in the shadow of the Transporter Bridge. Built in 1837 and one of Middlesbrough’s oldest buildings, architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner declared this grand, imposing Greek revival style building to be ‘the most dignified of the first Middlesbrough.” Sadly like many of our architectural treasures, Custom House has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair, and since the late eighties, has been left boarded up on a patch of neglected land.

“We’re really excited to be part of the regeneration team that will breathe new life into the building as part of the £4.4 million project. We will be renovating and upgrading the original sliding sash windows. Working on such a historically sensitive building obviously brings it own challenges, so a key part of our contribution as the window specialists, has been to play a consultative role with the Conservation Officers from the lead organisation Middlesbrough Council and the main contractors.”

As part of the restoration process we will be conserving as much as possible of the original window frames and carefully restoring them to their original glory. We are removing the Georgian sashes from the frames and bringing them back to our workshops to rebuild and re glaze them prior to decoration. This work calls for particular care, patience and skill from our team, and follows on many other historic buildings in our region which we have been proud to help restore.

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