Durham facility undergoes £500k renovation works, receives energy efficiency improvements

A deteriorating 111-year-old building in Durham has undergone major renovation works to be transformed into a new community facility, a recent news report in the local media has been able to reveal.

The redevelopment project of St Mary’s Community Hall has created 412 square metres of modern accommodation as a focus for community services, activities and events using a £500,000 grant from Big Lottery.

Subject to detailed consultation with existing and potential users and community groups, the innovative scheme used locally sourced materials and labour and sustainable design including maximum reuse of materials, thermal performance upgrades, high efficiency/low-energy lighting, zoned heating and air conditioning, solar panels, low-water-use and ‘A’ rated appliances and maximum use of natural light.

Liz Hughes of the project’s planning consultants, G & L Hughes, said: “Horden Centennial Centre demonstrates that, even when faced by the most challenging and broadly restrictive conditions, it is possible to rejuvenate much-loved community buildings to meet contemporary standards and sustainable design needs. Opting for demolition would have lost a significant link to Horden’s history. These types of project are never easy and this particular scheme had to marry the client’s aspirations with the reality of the building envelope. The result represents a fantastic achievement for all involved – it has delivered a vital facility which in future will be able to adapt to the evolving needs of the local community.“

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