Rescuing a Lake District Housing Development and Restoring a Historic Monument

In 2017, Duff & Phelps and Investec were appointed as administrators to property development business, Reno Global Ltd.

Read Upside - Autumn 2019

Together we led the successful restoration and development of the Ironworks site in the Lake District, saving a historic monument and securing the construction and completion of 43 holiday homes.

On the Ironworks site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM), a blast furnace built in 1711, that’s believed to be the only remaining example of its type; it’s one of the first charcoal-fired blast furnaces to be built in Cumbria. The SAM was in very poor condition, and the cost of restoring it made the site an unattractive sales proposition. Strict planning restrictions in the Lake District added further complexity to the process of completing the site.

In collaboration with Investec, we proposed a solution to the local council where we would take on the cost of restoring the SAM, and the council would review the planning and sales restrictions. The council agreed, and we worked hard on this substantial restoration project with Investec, who invested £700,000 for the administrators to repair and recondition the blast furnace, thus preserving an essential piece in the history of English innovation that was on Historic England’s top 10 list of most “at risk” monuments.

Duff & Phelps worked in partnership with Investec and Indigo Planning to complete the restoration of the SAM and construction of 43 open market apartments, securing a future for the site and ensuring that the development would be completed.

The community also saw meaningful benefits, with a significant construction project providing jobs and revenue to local suppliers, and the conversion of a near-derelict site that had been a blight on the area.

This award-winning project is a fantastic example of how a modern development can sit comfortably alongside a dedicated restoration of a national monument. It’s rare for us to really say everyone’s a winner, but in this case the community has seen a dilapidated eyesore transform into an attractive development and investors have seen a near-failure turned around. Plus, a precious monument has been saved.

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