The Challenge:

The mill and coach house were originally built in the 1800s and are Grade II-listed; the coach house was derelict, with holes in the roof and water damage, but the mill was in good condition and had most recently been used as office accommodation for the NHS.

The project is split into two phases; phase one would hand over in time for the sixth form to open in September 2019, and would comprise the basement kitchen and dining area, and ground and first floor classrooms, break-out spaces, and library. Phase two will hand over in September 2020, and will provide additional classroom space, break-out areas, a lecture theatre, the coach house, and neighbouring new build sports hall.

An old mine shaft was also found on site, located where the sports hall was to be built, requiring additional works to ensure this was properly capped and safe.

The Solution:

The mill building had an open plan layout following use as an office; new flooring and partition walling was installed to create large classrooms. The windows for each classroom had previously been able to open to their full extent; in line with guidelines, the windows were restricted from opening too widely

The mill’s original staircases are still in use, and the pillars that run the length of the mill were left exposed, retaining the building’s original features and character. The original ceilings on each floor were also left exposed, with acoustic rafts fitted to prevent echoes.

The coach house roof has been repaired using reclaimed slate, and complete re-pointing. As the coach house will be used for office accommodation and a diving school, shower and changing facilities were added, and the floor levels were changed to ensure that the building met DDA requirements.

The Impact:

The Dixons Sixth Form project will be the first college opened by Dixons Academies Trust solely for 16-18 year-olds. The renovation and restoration of the Grade II-listed mill and its coach house, retaining and re-establishing their original features will support the need for sixth form places in the south of Bradford, providing places for up to 880 students.

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