A restoration project worth £1.2m is underway a year after a devastating fire ripped through restaurants and flats in central Harrogate.
The Albert Street blaze broke out in the kitchens of the Prezzo restaurant on March 18 2014, completely destroying offices and 12 flats above.
The entire Harrogate community rallied around in the aftermath, raising £13,000 for housing association tenants left homeless and distraught by the devastating blaze. Now, a year after the fire, work has begun on an extensive £1.2m project to restore the offices and apartments, which have been empty for the past year.
“The fire was the largest that Harrogate has experienced since the Majestic Hotel fire in 2010 and caused extensive damage,” said Jason Adlam, chief executive at Harris Construction Management (HCM) which has been appointed to complete the work. “It’s very rewarding to be involved in ensuring that the businesses and residents can return to work and live here.
“We are delighted to be restoring this historic property to its former glory.”
Prezzo restaurant and Pizza Express, both damaged in the blaze, reopened some time ago after restoration works from HCM. The new work, to see 300sq m of office accommodation, stairs, and 12 flats restored, has required temporary road closures.
This, says the company, is to allow for the removal and replacement of the three fire-damaged structural steel beams, each weighing approximately four tonnes and supporting the second floor.
Work is scheduled for completion in August this year.
The Albert St fire, March 2014
The huge fire broke out in the kitchens of the Prezzo restaurant on Albert Street, quickly spreading to the two storeys above and destroying 12 flats owned by a housing association.
More than 90 firefighters and 18 fire engines from across North and West Yorkshire were brought in to battle the blaze, and thick smoke which could be seen for miles around engulfed Harrogate town centre.