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How we helped re-open the doors of this historic landmark

Value: £22,000
Client: National Trust

The Project

This is a historic property owned by the National Trust once lived in by William Wordsworth which is open to the public and visited by thousands of tourists every year.

In March, 2011, one of the largest fires that Grasmere has ever seen took place at Allan Bank. This historic landmark, once the family home of William Wordsworth, was left in ruin. The National Trust was determined this great house should not be lost. Therefore, they committed to undertake the huge restoration programme. Finally, in March, 2012, Allan Bank once more opened its doors to the public.

As an organisation delivering a high quality of service to various clients over the past 30 years, we are committed to the development of our employees and service delivery.

Bell Group delivered the external painting and redecorating to all of the previously painted external surfaces to include all masonry, rainwater goods, timber surfaces.

This included the full preparation stripping back and cleaning surfaces ready for application.

As an organisation delivering a high quality of service to various clients over the past 30 years, we are commitment to the development of our employees and service delivery. Therefore, we successfully share best practice across our business and lessons learnt are constantly re-iterated to employees. As part of our professional development plans, our management team regularly meet to understand what projects are being undertaken on a national level. We firmly believe this helps our team to successfully deliver a high quality of service using historical data from projects undertaken throughout the business. This ensures that we can provide the service of a national business with the ethos of a family run business.

Bell Group’s experience in delivering historic properties helped us to understand specific requirements from National Trust and the quality of the finish once completed. We used specifically selected products from Keim for the masonry and Sikkens for all timber surfaces to provide a finish that will last for many years and ensure that maintenance cycles are reduced going forward.

Bell Group alongside National Trust put in place a full programme of how the works were to be delivered as the property had to remain open to the public throughout the duration of the works. For the works to be delivered safely and on time, Bell Group used a phased approach – completing sections at a time which the public couldn’t not access (for safety) due to the use of MEWP which was used by a fully qualified operator, this offered a more cost-effective solution than scaffold plus also has the added benefit of ensuring that no damage was caused to the building.

Also working in the Cumbria Climate during September and October has a dramatic effect on when works can be done externally as the specialist products have certain temperature ranges which they can be applied plus cannot be applied during wet weather conditions. We worked very close with National Trust constantly checking the weather forecast so that the programme was kept on track and all stakeholders were aware of works were being delivered and when.

In the community

As part of its proactive community initiative programme, we have continued to support Allan Bank and the National Trust’s work. Today, Allan Bank retains the feeling of a much loved local residence, and as such, it is the perfect venue to host community events .Bell Group has pledged their support for various crafting activities including the sponsorship of Art classes and Knitting Classes.

About National Trust

The National Trust was founded on 12 January 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley. Over the last 120 years we’ve become one of the UK’s largest charities, caring for historic properties and areas of beautiful countryside. Take a look below to learn about some of the key moments in our past, and the people who have supported us.

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