The property preservation specialists - for over 50 years
We’ve been lucky enough to look around the historic Conditioning House on Canal Road in Bradford several times recently. As experts in damp and timber treatments, we’ve been asked to survey the building by Priestley Construction, with a view to chemical treatment to all timbers.
Priestley Construction is the building contractor on this huge and prestigious job. Priestley Construction is the contracting arm of Priestley Homes, the Leeds based developer which specialises in the regeneration of historic buildings. The £8.5million restoration works will take around 18 months and will create over 100 apartments, a residents’ gym and café, plus managed office space for local businesses.
The development work on the Grade II listed building will retain many original features. The original walkways connecting the front and back mills are to be refurbished and used as balconies for some of the new apartments. Original pulleys will be restored and kept in place, ornate stonework will be refurbished, and the original gates on the archway will be reinstated.
Priestley Construction has now completed initial work to ensure that all structural timbers are safe. We have been asked to survey and price up chemical treatment to all timbers in Mill 1, which is the building closest to and visible from Canal Road. The timbers will require anti-fungicidal treatment for wet rot, dry rot and fungi, and anti-insecticidal treatment for wood boring insects.
The history of the site is fascinating – it was built by the Bradford Corporation (Bradford Council) as a wool testing centre in 1902 after a special Act of Parliament. Its purpose was to quality-check and control the moisture content of textiles and certify their true weight and length. Nearly 70 per cent of all wool produced in the UK at that time was brought to Conditioning House for testing.
The purpose built building was designed by F Wild, who died before the building was completed. The work was taken over by city architect FEP Edwards. The structure was erected over four storeys with basement around three sides of an open courtyard.
In the past three decades, the imposing Grade II listed building has fallen into a shocking state of decay and disrepair. Here at Multiskill, we look forward to seeing this grand old industrial building come back to life, and we hope to support Priestley Construction in this challenge.
Picture: Phillip Slater surveying Conditioning House for Multiskill.