Industry Award for Former Shoe Factory

The regeneration and refurbishment of a former shoe factory in the heart of South Wigston, Leicester has been recognised with an RICS East Midlands Award.

The Stamford Shoe Works factory, on Canal Street, won in the Residential category, which celebrates how property professionals develop, regenerate and conserve their environments. Representatives from project partners, rg+p Ltd, NM Building Ltd and emh group were presented with the award by Channel 4’s Restoration Man, George Clarke at Leicester’s Curve Theatre.

Situated in the South Wigston Conservation Area, the £1m Canal Street scheme has seen the skilful and sympathetic refurbishment of a derelict eyesore into 12 modern, affordable homes. Designed to best utilise all available space within the site’s triangular footprint, the building contains a semi-recessed basement creating ground level duplex apartments together with upper level homes featuring mezzanine bedrooms. This layout enabled maximum natural light to permeate through timber frame windows, all of which were recreated to exact original specifications.

“Designing this scheme to meet the needs of modern living whilst not compromising the building’s heritage was a complex process,” explains David McSwiney, associate at rg+p. “We worked closely with the conservation team; producing sample timber windows, brickwork and pointing to ensure the external façade retained its character whilst also adhering to current building standards. Winning this award is a fantastic endorsement for the whole team’s efforts.”

The successful transformation of Canal Street has acted as a catalyst for further regeneration in the area, with the design team submitting a planning application for a similar conversion to the neighbouring disused factory.

Robert Jones, business development manager at NM Building added: “As main contractor, NM Building is pleased to have delivered this refurbishment project for emh group, working again in partnership with rg+p. This award is a great reflection on the whole team for their hard efforts on this fantastic project.”

Jim Patman, development director, emh group said: “There is more to addressing the housing crisis than building new homes. Making the best use of existing buildings is equally important, and with this project rg+p has shown how it can be done effectively and to a very high standard.”

Work on Canal Street commenced in February 2014 and was completed in January 2015. The full project team comprised rg+p Ltd, NM Building Ltd, emh group, Ridge & Partners and Diamond Wood & Shaw Engineers.