“The newly renovated buildings offer a unique opportunity for visitors and holiday makers to enjoy a break in Byron’s backyard, and I think people will agree that the cottage looks really beautiful now. They now help to generate income from holiday lets, which can be reinvested into the Abbey.” Cllr Dave Trimble , Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Nottingham City Council
Regeneration project breathes life into Lord Byron's ancestral home
This project was delivered by the in-house specialist team, Woodhead Heritage through Scape.
Newstead Abbey, best known as the ancestral home of Lord Byron, is one of the top ten visitor attractions in Nottinghamshire.
Nottingham City Council (NCC) carried out a review to identify older buildings that could be used in new ways and lead to sustainable income streams. The Gardeners Cottage and Monks Laundry at Newstead Abbey were identified as potential properties in this review. They had been empty for over 20 years, leaving them in a poor state of repair and vulnerable to criminal damage.
Most corporate property owners have assets within their portfolios which are unused or underused, which become a liability and can restrict portfolio income.
A comprehensive review was required with Nottingham City Council to identify these under performing properties and to help create new uses for older buildings, leading to sustainable income streams.
In any portfolio, the old and in particular, listed buildings, can present the greatest problems – this is when specialist conservation advice and an experienced contractor with the right expertise is needed the most.
Newstead Abbey and grounds are a popular area for visitors and remained open during the project.
Alongside the usual challenges of working on a live site, deliveries were carefully planned so there was minimal impact on operations.Several events were also held during the work, increasing visitors and traffic to the site.
The preservation of historic buildings can be costly to local authorities if delivered incorrectly. As the properties hold listed status, great care had to be taken to ensure all regulations were met and that the conservation and modernisation work was sympathetic to the age and history of the buildings, the Abbey and the surrounding grounds.
This project was delivered by the in-house specialist team, Woodhead Heritage.
As a part of the project the team offered a free consultation to Nottingham City Council and developed a plan to bring the buildings back into life as viable, capital generating assets.
One of the aims was to create a high-quality finish that would appeal to wedding guests, by returning the properties to their 19th century appearance with 21st century amenities. Since completion, the cottage has received multiple bookings and strong reviews from guests, with an average rating of 4.8/5 on owners direct website.
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