A Grade II listed building in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market area has been brought back to life following extensive restoration by local property development company Spenbeck.
The Birkin Building – which was designed by renowned architect TC Hine to house the international headquarters of Birkin & Co, world leaders in lace manufacturing, in 1855 – has been predominantly used to house a number of nightclubs for the past 25 years.
The building is now fully let once again, with staff at e-learning business Learning Pool, amongst other creative companies, calling it home following its transformation into a workspace fit for modern businesses. The property still retains all the character of a 19th-century lace warehouse.
Spenbeck CEO Victoria Green said: “Being able to have the power to positively impact the cityscape is a great responsibility, which also comes with huge rewards. The Birkin Building is our finest example of this. Being instrumental in the sympathetic redevelopment of these Grade II listed properties has been a challenge, of course, but one I am personally hugely proud of.
“Seeing the buildings ‘alive’ again after years of night-time leisure use means that not only are the buildings thriving, but the streets around The Lace Market are too. There is an energy back in the area and having contributed to this through our renovation project means that I am constantly reminded of what we’ve achieved.”
In its heyday, clients from all over the world would visit the Birkin Building’s salesroom to peruse the extensive sample collection and place orders. Birkin Lace was favoured by haute couture fashion designers and both Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies, who designed for the Royal family, were visitors.
The renovation project included the refurbishment and painting of the building’s 88 windows, repair and high-pressure cleaning of the stone and brickwork façade, indentation of stone where required and re-rendering and re-pointing where necessary.
Internally, a goods lift has been repurposed for passenger use and the original roof light has been refurbished.
The external ‘facelift’ was assisted through a Heart of Nottingham Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) grant from Historic England and Nottingham City Council.
Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage, Cllr Linda Woodings said: “We were so pleased to be named as one of the first Heritage Action Zones back in 2017 and since then, with help from Historic England and working with local partners and businesses, we’ve been able to put heritage at the heart of Nottingham’s future development.”