Written by Chris Race Architect

This award-winning £14m outpatient centre is the culmination of a brief to provide purpose-built state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, and conserve and regenerate a much-loved local landmark – the Grade II listed wire mill in Lindley, Huddersfield.

Acre Mills is the first UK health sector development project to be delivered by public private partnership: our client, Pennine Property Partnership, is a collaboration between Henry Boot Developments and the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. That approach, in itself, is an innovative one, addressing the ongoing issue of the funding and management of healthcare provision. And the pressure was on to demonstrate that it was one that would work, and that would impact tangibly on the unsustainable pressures on Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, opposite Acre Mills.

Sector(s)

  • Healthcare
  • Office & Industrial Workplace

Value
£14m

Client(s)
Pennine Property Partnership

Size
5760m²

Location
Huddersfield, UK

Design

A classic three R’s approach – retain, restore, replace was used to protect Acre Mills’ personality and its original features. The balancing act was designing around this as well as achieving a state-of-the-art facility – modern, clean, spacious, bright and airy, fit for modern use and sustainable for years to come. Much of the layout was dictated by the natural grid set by columns and window positions, but this meant that the shell of the building leant itself well to contemporary, open-plan use with ample light and space.

Go to Build

“It was important to the Trust and the local community that the characterful building, which was once a prominent, bustling place of employment for local workers, was returned to good use in serving the local community once again.”

Chris Race, Architect

Build

We used traditional construction techniques and materials wherever we could: the original mortar from the building was sent for lab analysis and a true match was used to re-build just one gable wall (the rest were restored); the roof slates were removed and re-laid following a traditional diminishing course; the stone was cleaned with a non-abrasive substance to kept that lived and loved patina. We worked with a heritage consultant who showed us so much of the mill’s history, it’s closer now in character to the original than it was when we began. A great thing to be able to do!

Go to In-use

“Jefferson Sheard have been an integral part to the success of a complex project that has been delivered on time and within budget. Their enthusiasm to work with all the necessary project stakeholders has been evident throughout and it has been a pleasure to work with them.”

Edward Hutchinson, Henry Boot Developments

In-use

We have been so pleased to hear patients speaking highly of their experience at Acre Mills – that quality is an essential part of relieving the pressure on the nearby regional hospital. We were committed to creating a space that could be conserved well into the future too – we’ve created no new openings or extensions and where we have made interventions, such as the glazed bridge link, we have done so in such a way that the building can be easily reverted to its original state with minimal trace. It’s been a great conservation project, so we were really thrilled to have our work recognised with the Conservation Award by RICS too.

The Team

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