Work begins on historic stables restoration

Work begins on historic stables restoration

Work has begun on the £850k regeneration of Derby's historic Darley Park Stables and Bakehouse to create new work spaces on the edge of the city's most beautiful park.

Duffield developer Darley Abbey Stables Sanctuary LLP is restoring the derelict Grade II listed buildings to create new office and studio spaces for small and medium sized businesses.

Belper-based Bailey Construction has been appointed as the main contractor for the works, which are expected to be completed by spring 2014. 

Parts of Darley Abbey Stables and the adjacent Bakehouse date back to the early 18th Century and form part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.

The development is set to generate in the region of 30 jobs in up to eight unique work spaces. Several businesses have already expressed a strong interest in moving into the development next year.

Dr Tanya Spilsbury, of Darley Abbey Stables Sanctuary, said: "After months of preparation, planning applications and site analyses, this wonderful regeneration project has finally become a reality. It will be so exciting to see these amazing buildings return to their former glory.

"I'm delighted, though not totally surprised, by the amount of interest we've already received from business owners keen to move into a work space that is so full of character and history – and on the edge of Derby's most picturesque park."

Despite having been derelict for many years, the stables and bakehouse still contain a wealth of important historical features – all of which will be restored and retained.
Features include the horse stalls and associated fixtures and fittings, which represent particularly fine examples of equine architecture. Rare lime ash floors, lath and plaster ceilings and some roof timbers will also be preserved due to their historical interest.

Heating pipes and a boiler room serving a stable block that was subsequently converted into a garage will also remain. They were apparently installed to warm a Bentley car owned by the Evans family, who owned the former Darley Hall to which these outbuildings belonged. The hall, outbuildings and Darley Park have been under local authority ownership since 1931, though Darley Hall itself was demolished in 1962.

Derby City Council provided £170k towards the restoration from the Derby Regeneration Fund.

Scott Bailey, director of Bailey Construction (Derby) Ltd, said the regeneration of Darley Abbey Stables was an exciting job to be part of:

"We are excited to commence the renovation and alterations to the Stables and Bakehouse following our appointment as Principal Contractor," he said.

"The works carry importance and prestige and we are looking forward to delivering a successful project that will improve the area to all who use the buildings and the surroundings."

Councillor Martin Repton, Derby City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture and ward councillor for Darley, said: "I'm delighted that work is starting on the regeneration of Darley Park's historic stables and bakehouse.

"It will bring back into use these important historic buildings which lie at the heart of one of this city's most  well-loved and beautiful parks. It will also foster economic development and create much-needed employment in these challenging times as well as adding a colourful hub of activity adjacent to the newly refurbished café terrace area of the park."

The new Darley Abbey Stables development will be accessed through Darley Abbey village, which sits near to the junction of the A38 and A6, about two miles north of Derby city centre and close to public transport routes.

The architect on the project is Lichfield-based Brownhill Hayward Brown, and the developer has commissioned local Darley Abbey-based consultancy Armsons as quantity surveyor.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the forthcoming business work spaces should contact Tim Richardson, associate director at Innes England, on 01332 362244 or email .

The Building Sanctuary is a building conservation and surveying company launched by Dr Tanya Spilsbury in 1997.

Dr Spilsbury studied her PhD at the University of Nottingham, conducting research into "The sustainable re-use of listed buildings in the context of urban regeneration" (see: ).
This interest in the sustainable conversion of historic buildings is the driving force behind The Building Sanctuary and its associated companies. Associated companies include Highgate Sanctuary Ltd (www.elvaston- and a member of RICS Building Conservation Group and The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

<< Back