Bauman Lyons were invited by a newly formed Kirkstall Valley Development Trust (KVDT) to carry out a feasibility study to convert a cluster of semi-derelict Grade-II listed buildings in the ownership of the council into a community hub. With substantial development area provided by two mills and clusters of outbuildings it was necessary to consider a partnership with a private developer. We developed a number of options for the community hub and housing. KVDT were successful in securing Homes England revenue grant which then presented the opportunity to develop a community led affordable housing scheme with community facilities instead of partnership with a developer.
- The revenue funding enabled us to work on outline design. The site is complex with industrial archaeology, a Mill Race feeding the mills which is still in evidence, and an appealing formation of courtyards defined by the water and the listed buildings. There is a distinct group heritage value to the site.
- We assisted the client in tendering and appointing an excellent team of consultants: Arup as Structural Engineers and Ramboll as Services Engineers. We also carried out a range of surveys to help us de-risk the project.
- Above all we worked with the client team to develop the concept of a sheltered housing scheme for over 55’s with a careful mix of communal facilities for the residents and integrated community hub for the wider neighbourhood. As the project develops it has potential to become an exemplar of innovative, community led housing solutions where a residential community underpins the provision of community services whilst enabling the older generation to be socially engaged and active.