116 High Street is a Grade II* Listed building dating to the early 18th century and which had a long and troubled history. When we were appointed, in 2008, the building was accessible with great difficulty due to the amount of temporary scaffolding propping required inside the building.
With the Architect, we initially assessed the stability at that time and advised on further emergency works considered necessary with the works being funded through an English Heritage grant and completed in 2008.
Following receipt of a significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund supported by a further grant from English Heritage, the Trust was able to instruct the team to prepare full tender documentation. This involved many hours climbing through the internal scaffold and trying to understand the complex construction, the multiple defects and making decisions on the repairs necessary to bring the building back into beneficial use.
To facilitate better access a new extension tower was planned to the rear elevation which included lift access to the first floor, and with the use identified as office with a custodian flat within the attic. New work units were proposed at the rear of the plot to increase the commercial use.
Following competitive tenders and the appointment of a local contractor, numerous site visits were necessary to re-assess the structure and works required as the building was unpicked. These included significant masonry and timber repairs to help stabilise the structure along with the new build elements for the new uses.
The building was opened to great acclaim at the end of 2012 with representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage in attendance as well as a member from the family of the original owner, as well as many Bostonians.
It is cited as an example of what is possible in terms or bringing ruinous buildings back to life.