A former railway station at Shirebrook, close to the town centre, has been fully renovated and restored by Groundwork to house six business units. The units have provided an economic boost to the area.
The station sits on the Robin Hood Line, a service that provides a link between Worksop and Nottingham. The platform building has been derelict for over 20 years and had fallen into a serious state of disrepair. When Bolsover District Council decided to renovate the building, Groundwork was chosen as the main contractor.
Due to the historical nature of the property, many of the traditional features of the building had to be restored under strict conservation guidelines. This has brought a unique, and sometimes challenging, element to the development.
The building is also heated by an air source heat pump. This extracts heat from the outside air, compresses it and then uses it to heat a building and its hot water. This type of heat pump offers a well tried and very cost-effective means of harnessing renewable energy. The heat generated by the pump will be distributed through radiators in the building. This type of heating system was seen as an excellent option given the difficulties and costs of linking the building to the main gas system. It is expected that the heat pump will save up to one tonne of CO2 per year.
Parts of the project had to rely on skills not often seen in today’s construction industry. Timber sash windows have had to be hand made using traditional methods. The roof has been restored using some of the original white slate with traditional woodwork fascias, while the chimneys have been re-done in stone. No detail has been ignored and even the woodwork inside the building has been painted in the original colour scheme of deep red. The outer stone walls have also been kept, replastered and re-painted.
The development was carried out using a number of Groundwork’s trainees. No fewer than 29 people aged 16 and above worked alongside experienced supervisors on the restoration.
The official opening event was attended by Sir William McAlpine, a railway enthusiast and chairman of the Railway Heritage Trust.