Value: £3.75m

The Brief:

Hull City Council have committed to a major investment into leisure facilities across the city to improve the health and wellbeing of Hull’s residents over recent years.

Following the refurbishment of both Woodford and Ennerdale Leisure Centre’s, they looked to Hull Esteem to bring the 116-year-old Beverley Road Baths back to life. The building in which the Bath’s reside is a stunning historical building on one of Hull’s key gateways to the city centre. With it being in such a popular location, the investment was welcomed by users to bring a part of Hull’s heritage back to life.

The key part of the brief was to remain sympathetic to the history of the Baths, restoring and rebuilding some of the original features to pay homage to its rich history.

With that in mind, and the fact the Beverley Road Bath’s plays a significant part in the health and wellbeing of Hull’s residents, Esteem and Contractors Hobson Porter, got straight to work.

The Solution:

Having worked with Hobson Porter on several restoration projects in the past, Hull Esteem knew that the niche expertise needed for a project of this sort is exactly what they could offer. Not only this, but Esteem also has a reputation for complex refurbishments such as Ferens Art Gallery – making it the perfect partnership.

To refurb and restore Beverley Road Baths, Hull Esteem and Hobson Porter had to work with conservation specialists who surveyed the original tiles and advised on a detailed repair and restore schedule. 50% of the works also included a major mechanical and electrical reconfiguration to bring the building in line with modern standards.

The Challenges:

• At 116 years old, the building holds a Grade II listing, bringing challenges of remaining sympathetic to its history and protecting many original features which were to remain intact,

• Logistical challenges with it being on a busy main road and roofing works needing to be undertaken safely, being scheduled at convenient times,

• Draining of the existing pools to install birdcage scaffolding had to be completed to a very specific timeframe – can’t drain it too quick or too slow otherwise it can collapse. Periodic inspections were needed,

• Conservation requirements – retaining as many of the original features as possible including repairing features as opposed to replacing them,

• The full scope of works was determined during the process, rather than all at the start. This is because it was not until the Conservationists were in where damage to stone works etc. was discovered. This delayed some works to ensure that we could repair or replace the original features to match,

• The site team worked to tight timescales to maximise the works whilst the leisure centre was closed,

• Contending with Covid-19 – due to safe working practices being implemented ahead of starting on site, everything ran smoothly and most importantly, safely,

• Later on in the project, there were some delays to materials due to Brexit and Covid.

The Results:

The results are a magnificent face-lift for Beverley Road Baths!

An important part of Hull’s heritage has been brought back to life, with the attention to detail shown by the contractors working with the conservations allowing much of the original features to be preserved or restored. The structure of the building stays true to its history, whilst also adding a modern spin.

External works included;

  • Many of the original roof tiles were repaired, but PV panels have also now been installed to make the building more sustainable,
  • Works to the external façade,
  • Masonry,
  • Stonework,
  • Window refurbishment.

Internal works included;

  • Construction of a new larger gym,
  • Refurbishment to the existing gym,
  • New and improved steam and sauna facilities
  • Renovation to the main reception,
  • Essential maintenance repairs to the floor lights,
  • Mechanical and electrical systems replaced and upgraded to modern day standards,
  • Installation of a new ventilation system,

Works to Beverley Road Baths forms part of a wider regeneration of the city and includes the refurbishment of Albert Avenue Pools, due to start soon.

This will be a £4.6m transformation of Albert Ave Pools that will see the facility’s historic much-loved lido reopen after 25 years, amongst other improvements.