In March 2012 Horton Estates were granted planning permission to restore the splendid and historic Grand Hotel in Colmore Row at a cost of £30million. Preparatory work has now started on this late 19th century building and the first phase is to replace the protective scaffold structure with a working structure. When this work is complete (it is hoped by the end of January) it will enable a start to be made on repairing the Colmore Row and Church Street facades. Below are some photographs taken recently by Hortons.
Below is a November press release by Hortons’ Estate.
Hortons’ Estate has awarded the contract for the restoration of the Grand Hotel, Birmingham’s Colmore Row and Church Street façades to Aldridge based contractor Midland Conservation Limited. The restoration will use the techniques devised in the trial repairs completed in 2011 and will involve the removal of all exiting paint and render, the replacement of defective stones and the repair and dressing of the stones that are not replaced. The façade will then be repainted with a modern breathable mineral paint. The works are due to last 18 months commencing with the highly complex replacement of the existing protective structure with a working masonry scaffold. The final cost of the façade restoration project will be around £2.5 million and English Heritage has awarded a repair grant towards the cost. Commenting on the award of the contract Tony Green, Chief Executive of Hortons’ Estate commented “This is another important milestone in the project to restore the Grand to its former glory. For many years it was thought that the façade was beyond repair and it is a tribute to the work of all those in our team that a solution has been found. We are delighted that the work will be carried out by a Midlands based company and very grateful to English Heritage for its financial support.” Jason Graham, Director of Midland Conservation Limited said “This is a great opportunity for our craftsmen to be taking part in such a prestigious project and we look forward to fulfilling our role in helping to restore the Grand Hotel and eventually returning it to its former glory’’. Tim Johnston, Director of Planning & Conservation for English Heritage in the West Midlands said: “The Grand Hotel is one of Birmingham’s iconic buildings; full of memories and meanings for local people and visitors to the city – but – it has been on the English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk Register for seven years and shrouded in scaffolding. We are pleased to have worked closely with the owners, Hortons’ Estate, in trying to find a solution for the building and are delighted that they are committed to its repair and re-use. “Our grant of £199,000 will help repair the crumbling facade and remove the scaffolding which has blighted this part of Colmore Row in recent years.”
Prepared by:- Tony Green, Chief Executive, Hortons Estate Limited
Article by Geoff Caine