Historic Gloucester and Sharpness Canal building is off "at risk" register
One of Gloucestershire's historic waterway buildings has been saved from dereliction, with work by the Canal & River Trust taking the Grade II-listed North Warehouse at Sharpness Dock off the Heritage at Risk register for the first time in ten years.
The Trust – the charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales – is now considering ways the building can be brought back into use.
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The North Warehouse is the only survivor of four large warehouses used to store imported grain when Sharpness Docks opened in 1874. Unused for over thirty years because the building is unsuited for modern methods of handling and storing bulk goods, the condition of the roof and parapet guttering had deteriorated considerably. Strong winds sweeping up the Bristol Channel inflict a battering on the six-storey warehouse, and its condition meant it was placed on Stroud District Council's 'At Risk' register.
The repairs were completed over seven months, with advice from Ferguson Mann architects and Mann Williams engineers. Timber refurbishment, re-slating the roof, repairing guttering and securing all the window openings against the weather means the warehouse is now fully secured.
David Viner, Canal & River Trust heritage advisor, said: "I'm delighted that we have finally been able to make this building weathertight again and, most importantly, get it off the Heritage at Risk register. We'll definitely find a use for it, although it may take some time because of its location within a commercial dock area.
"In the 1970s similar warehouses in Gloucester Docks were at risk of demolition because they were deemed redundant and useless. Fortunately it didn't happen and now restored and converted they are jewels in Gloucester's dockside regeneration.
"The thousands of historic buildings that line the nation's canals and rivers add so much to the unique character of the waterways. Restoration projects like this are vital to ensure this character endures, so we are delighted that the North Warehouse has been saved for the future – it's a real victory for all who love the heritage of the waterways."
For more information about Sharpness Port visit http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/sharpness-port