2nd June 2004
After five years of dereliction, one of Royal Worcester Porcelain’s 19th Century former manufacturing bases has received the green light from City planners to be transformed into 78 loft style apartments and newly built houses.
Fronting the Worcester & Birmingham canal in the central conservation area and within moments of the city’s shopping district, Neil Grinnall Homes is expecting to set new records for residential values when Albion Mill launches to the market later this year. Being the residential developers’ largest scheme to date, the circa £15million development will incorporate 68 one and two bedroom apartments and ten houses with prime canalside views.
Neil Grinnall, Chairman said: “The redevelopment of Albion Mill will be a significant catalyst for change in Worcester. Not only is it our largest project to date, it will also be the biggest new residential scheme this city has seen. And, most importantly, the intensive restoration and conversion programme will ensure the continued regeneration of central Worcester’s previously forgotten canalside.
“By the time we launch the 78 new homes at Albion Mill, the construction of our 64 new apartments at Diglis Road and the sister scheme on Bath Road – both on the opposite side of the canal to this new site – will be complete. I am very proud that Neil Grinnall Homes is single handily creating a new residential community here, mirroring Birmingham’s success for revitalising neglected waterside frontages with substantial investment in luxury apartments.”
The restoration process for Albion Mill will commence later this year and is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete. The converted apartments will not only feature original details from the industrial era, but will also boast stunning views of Worcester’s canal basin. Major selling points for future residents of the scheme will be the one-to-one on site parking and the spectacular open-air courtyard with direct access to the canal towpath.
The largest penthouse will be a staggering 1,351 sq ft and its position on the fifth floor of the building will offer commanding views of the cathedral city. It is expected that when this property hits the market it will be Worcester’s most expensive apartment to date with an estimated value of £495,000.
Neil Grinnall continued: “Worcester is a unique city due to the quality of its buildings, its rich heritage and enviable access to the rest of the UK, via the M5. I am therefore in no doubt that it can sustain hundreds more new homes and commercial investment, which will inject an ambiance back into the central core that has been in decline over the past century. Albion Mill will be a fantastic symbol of Worcester’s willingness to evolve and adapt to the changing times by reusing historic buildings that have been a fundamental part of its long tradition for manufacturing fine porcelain.”
Due to the complexity of the restoration programme, several developers turned down the opportunity to redevelop Albion Mill before Neil Grinnall Homes acquired the building and secured its future. The company’s in-house team has a wealth of experience in tackling complex restoration projects such as this and will be working in consultation with Worcester City Council’s planning and conservation specialists throughout the development process.
The new apartments that will be created within the fabric of the former Mill are likely to encourage a whole new wave of people to embrace city living in Worcester. Due to the rarity of conversion projects such as this, Albion Mill may also entice people residing outside of the area to relocate to Worcester. Despite being some time away from a sales launch, the developer has already established a strong list of prospective purchasers who want to be the first to view the architects’ plans.
Neil Grinnall Homes is set to inject over £320 million into the Midlands region over the next three years. Currently employing 30 people and with plans to increase the team due to corporate success, the company is responsible for conceptualising Worcester’s city living phenomenon.
In addition to the Diglis Road and Bath Road Apartments, the company is currently converting the former Kay’s Catalogue Headquarters in central Worcester into 24 spectacular loft apartments and individual office suites, known as ‘K1’. Behind the Grade II listed façade of an adjoining Kay’s building on The Tything, Neil Grinnall Homes is also building new townhouses and apartments at ‘K2’ to meet the increased demand for city living. Elsewhere in Worcestershire, 36 new homes are being constructed in the grounds of Hadzor Hall’s 54 acre estate in Droitwich Spa.
Neil Grinnall Homes
01905 827 800
0121 643 8151