Today I had a guided tour of the inside of Clementhorpe Maltings and had the opportunity to discuss in length with Tim Bradley, who is the Land and Property Asset Manager in Property Services, the history of the building and potential opportunities. As promised, please see below some pictures I took.
When you walk through the entrance you immediately get a sense of the history of the place. As you walk in from main road you are presented with the buildings most impressive feature, the Kiln furnace (See the picture below):
This was manufactured by H J H King of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire and is one of only a few examples of its kind left in the country. This, and several other pieces of machinery linked to the malting process, gives the property its unique appeal.
Moving through into the main area of ground floor (which was used in the drying process) one can immediately see where the obvious restrictions in usage beyond its original purpose are. The steel beams that run horizontally across the building (see the picture below) are at a height of about 5’4”:
When you move up to the first floor the steel structure is very similar with a very similar clearance height. But although these problems are restrictive on the face of it these aren’t the real issues. The steel structure is subject to leaning in several places and there is damage to the outer structure where it has moved as the steel structure has leant and flexed. A full survey of the building was completed in the late 80s, early 90s and the cost of work to correct the structure was in the region of £100k. In todays terms, 20 years on, that cost is likely to be more like £500k. The roof is secure and water tight so there are no immediate issues with water damage.
And this is where the dialema really is. The cost of maintenance of the building, as it is, is very low, so doesn’t represent a financial burden on the council. However, the listing, cost of the structural work and cost on top of that of doing something different with the building means that there isn’t an easy reuse of the building (particularly with the property market as it is). So the only option for the council to this point has been to hold on to the property.
So that’s where the challenge comes in!
In my eyes there could be a couple of ways forward that don’t involve a potential delisting, demolition or significant investment to create alternative usage:
- The first is that a group would get together and secure the grants, as a heritage project, to restore the maltings to its original condition and open as a museum/visitors centre.
- Alternatively there may be a short term opportunity with the small piece of land at the back of the property (see on the diagram below the red box) and the room that holds that kiln furnace (see on the diagram below the blue box). On the face of it, though a survey would be required if we were to take this route, the structural damage isn’t affecting the front of the building that houses the kiln furnace and with a bit of work this could be made available for some of the uses highlighted in the discussion so far. Similarly the land at the back could be used in the short term. This could provide the opportunity to make use of the building and land in the ways described in the discussion.
The red box is the outside land, the blue box is the entrance with the kiln furnace and the green box represents the rest of the building.
(Based upon the Ordnance Survey mapping with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, Crown Copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. City of York Council, Licence No. 1000 20818)
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