14th August 2023

Perega achieves a peaceful conclusion at Bradford’s historic Salts Mill

Perega has recently played a pivotal role in enabling the relocation of The Peace Museum, to Salts Mill in Bradford. Delivering structural engineering and building surveying consultancy, our team has been working on the restoration of the Mill’s historic ‘T Block’ to enable the museum, previously located in the city centre, to move in on the third floor.

Supported through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the move will create engaging and accessible exhibitions, as well as dedicated learning spaces. This will provide more opportunities for visitors, researchers and community groups to explore the collection the museum has to offer when it reopens next summer.

Salts Mill, originally built in 1853 by philanthropist Sir Titus Salt, forms part of the Saltaire UNESCO World Heritage site and is currently home to a a variety of retail outlets, a gallery containing works by David Hockney and a restaurant and café. Amongst others, The Peace Museum project is the latest phase of the site-wide redevelopment.

A Grade II-listed structure, the Salts Mill site is extensive, with the main mill having six storeys spanning a 5400m2 floor area per level. Primarily constructed using cast iron and brick arches, the third floor is built entirely of timber.

Our project team, headed up by Associate Chris Ramsden and Associate and Chartered Building Surveyor Stuart Broadley devised a set of ingenious technical solutions to overcome a set of highly-specific challenges.

This commenced with a thorough assessment of the structural integrity of T Block’s third floor, recommending strengthening where required. Perega found the floor’s structural integrity was compromised, with one of the timbers having failed. This presented us with the difficult task of devising a strengthening detail for the compromised beam, made even trickier by the building’s listed status, which limited modifications below it. Perega developed a creative solution of suspending the beam from the structure above.

Our team also determined the necessary measures to upgrade the fire rating of the whole floor to ensure compliance with building regulations. They recommended the installation of a fire-rated ceiling and protecting existing beams with fire-resistant paint.

Perega also assumed the responsibilities of a project manager and contract administrator as the project progressed, and has been involved in the tendering process to ensure the accurate management and coordination of all involved parties.

Commenting on Perega’s work on Salts Mill, Lead Engineer Chris Ramsden says, “This was an interesting and unusual project, and one which adds to the team’s knowledge and experience of overcoming the challenges encountered when working on listed historic buildings. Salts Mill is a unique site with a very interesting history we feel lucky to have had the opportunity to assist with this phase of redevelopment.”

We have previously been involved with the wider restoration of the landmark, helping redevelop previously disused spaces on the site over the past 20 years. This included re-roofing and strengthening of the roof over the South Mill and re-roofing of the T block, paving the way for an increase in exhibition space and the Peace Museum.

Perega is looking to continue supporting the owners of the Mill on further refurbishment projects and future redevelopment of the site.

To find out more about our historic work, click here.