Harrogate firm talks about treating iconic building with respect in first phase of historic conversion
and live on Freeview channel 276
Harrogate and Wetherby-based Elite Scoffolding Ltd said it had been important they treated Herald Buildings with respect as an important facet of Harrogate’s townscape.
Speaking after erecting a spectacular-looking temporary frame which now surrounds the historic building on Montpellier Parade, the company's managing director Spencer Cassidy said: “It may seem to be a pretty routine job but Harrogate and Montpellier Parade present their own challenges.
“First of all, the building is on a slope but it’s also an important facet of Harrogate’s townscape so we have to treat the site with respect and do all we can to allow shoppers and visitors access to neighbouring properties.
"We've done all this during challenging weather including snow, hard frosts and a procession of named storms."
After the erection on the scaffolding, construction teams now have access to the exterior of the landmark site destined to be converted into a mix of commercial premises and apartments.
Originally constructed as hotel accommodation for visitors to the Yorkshire spa town who would “take the waters” in the mid-1800s, the three-storey building then became a hospital for “persons of small means who are permanently disqualified from the duties of life by disease, accident or deformity”.
The Herald Buildings’ most famous role was as the headquarters of the Harrogate Advertiser which has been established in 1836 to publish the regular List of Visitors in town for the healing properties of the sulphurous spa water.
The early publications inspired both the Harrogate Herald and the Harrogate Advertiser, both of which were later acquired by printer Robert Ackrill. The building was to become home to both publications for almost 90 years.
The newspapers relocated to a purpose-built works at Cardale Park in the early 1990s and the ground floor of the Herald Building was acquired by the Slug & Lettuce pub chain.
However, after the pub’s demise in the wake of the COVID pandemic in May 2021, planning permission was granted a year ago to convert the building back into commercial units and residential accommodation and the scaffolding went up last week in preparation for the exterior refurbishments.
Elite Scoffolding Ltd’s role in the transformation of such an integral part of Harrogate’s heritage has been something of a labour of love.
“All of our teams are highly trained professionals but the public won’t be aware, as this is Harrogate, we have also had to use a particular type of scaffold to help protect Herald Buildings,” said managing director Spencer Cassidy.
"The crews have also been briefed on the importance of allowing ‘business as usual’ around the site.
“One of the pleasant aspects of working on the building is that it’s given us a view of Montpellier Parade few will have been able to enjoy for some years.
“In the meantime though, we would like to assure the public that we will be doing our bit to keep any inconvenience to a minimum and to play our part in getting the job finished as soon as possible.”
The conversion plans, designed by Harrogate’s SPX Architects, were submitted to the former Harrogate Borough Council in September 2022 by developer Rushbond Plc of Leeds.
More information at: https://elitescaffoldingltd.co.uk/