Two heritage projects shortlisted in RICS, East of England 2016 Awards

Two heritage projects shortlisted in RICS, East of England 2016 Awards

Clarkson Alliance is very pleased to have two of our projects shortlisted as finalists in three categories at the RICS, East of England 2016 awards.

Sacrewell Farm in Peterborough is a finalist in the Building Conservation category and also Tourism and Leisure category. St Nicholas’ Chapel in Kings Lynn is also a finalist in the Building Conservation category. Both projects have received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The RICS awards celebrate outstanding achievements in property.  Each year the top regional built environment projects are selected across eight categories.  The winners are put forward for the RICS Awards Grand Final where they also have the chance to win the overall Project of the Year award.

Sacrewell Farm – restored 18th century Water Mill project

The £1.8m Sacrewell Farm Water Mill, Millhouse and bakery project saw the transformation of a Grade II listed building into an education centre and tourist attraction.  The project had previously been on English Heritage’s At Risk Register before owners William Scott Abbott Trust formulated a plan to renovate the building.  The Mill site was originally constructed in the mid-18th century and was in need of important repairs.  The water mill has been restored after many years of disuse.  Extra support for the watermill is provided through the introduction of a hydroelectric turbine.

The renovations make the project an ideal setting for the recent BBC programme, Victorian Bakers which explored traditional bakery.  During the programme the presenters remarked on their concern during research that they would be unable to find anywhere to film the 18th century milling techniques until they found Sacrewell.  It is extremely rare to find a working bake house from the same era as when Sacrewell Farm was built.

The ambition for the refurbishment project was to return the buildings to a focal point for the Sacrewell Farm site and draw visitors in to share long-established Milling techniques which has been achieved.

It’s rare to be able to say that a project was finished on time and to budget which is testament to the hard work carried out by the team at Sacrewell Mill. Before funding was secured, Sacrewell Mill was on the ‘at risk’ register and the project could not have started at a better time. The work carried out needed expert knowledge, from the initial planning stages to on the spot decisions.

– Jane Harrison, Project Officer, Sacrewell Farm.

Clarkson Alliance provided project and cost management for the project.


St Nicholas’ Chapel – refurbished 600 year old Chapel of Ease

St Nicholas’ Chapel in Kings Lynn has been central to the community for 600 years.  It was refurbished as part of a £2.7million project by Churches Conservation Trust who own and manage the building.  St Nicholas’ Chapel is England’s largest Chapel of Ease and contains beautiful depictions of 32 scenes of Jesus’ life in its stained glass windows.  The Chapel is also renowned for its intricately carved wooden angels set in the roof. Due to their uniqueness, the V&A museum is now displaying some of the angels in their collection.  Repairs to the iconic roof were prioritised and the installation of solar PV panels provides a sustainability element to the building.  The project also includes the refurbishment of 20 chandeliers, a new chamber floor, masonry repairs and installation of a new kitchen and toilets.


The objective of the project, to restore the 600 year old Chapel and introduce amenities to equip it for modern events hire, has been accomplished.  Prior to refurbishment, the opportunity was identified to host more events at St Nicholas’ Chapel but without the necessary supporting facilities it was difficult to attract event organisers. Since reopening in 2015, the building has played host to a number of events including the Lynn Lumière festival, The Kings Lynn Festival and a number of Christmas events.

We’re delighted that the high quality repair, conservation and new build work at the Chapel has been recognised by RICS.

– Isabel Assaly, Regeneration Manager, The Churches Conservation Trust.

Clarkson Alliance acted as Employers Agent on the project.

 Sacrewell Farm and St Nicholas’ Chapel are fabulous heritage projects. There are many inherent risks in restoration schemes.  Our risk mitigation approach coupled with collaborative working techniques mean our teams are motivated to deliver the project brief, on time and budget, even if complications arise. Exceeding customers’ expectations is a priority for us. We are delighted that the teams’ hard work has paid off. Both clients have received projects achieving the original objectives.  It is fantastic that the RICS has recognised both team’s hard work. More members of the public can enjoy these high quality buildings as a result of these successful projects.

– Graham Clarkson, Managing Director, Clarkson Alliance.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in May in Bury St Edmunds.