High Street Heritage Action Zone: Quality Plus, Lancaster - HPA

High Street Heritage Action Zone: Quality Plus, Lancaster

As part of the ongoing works with Lancaster High Street Heritage Action Zone, HPA have recently overseen the works to restore 113 St Leonard’s Gate. The building which is prominent in the centre of the historic city of Lancaster,  was originally a carriage showroom and has been occupied by a small family run furniture business, Quality Plus for the past 41 years.

The building was purpose built as a carriage showroom for coach builder William Richmond at the end of the nineteenth century – as shown by the carved ‘WR 1899’ at the top of the building. It was designed by Architect, Joseph Parkinson, who ran a practice in Lancaster and who was responsible for many of the city’s great buildings. Richmond’s ‘North Lancashire Carriage Works’ business was established in 1797 but the showroom is thought to have only been used for carriages for a few years until 1909. The advent of the motorcar may have influenced this decision and by 1919, the building had become The Palatine Garage, offering motor cars for hire. The building has had multiple owners and uses over the years from funeral directors to cabinet makers as well as being utilised by the adjacent Grand Theatre who had it for their stage scenery construction and storage. Current owners Quality Plus have been in this location since 1981 and are one of Lancaster’s longest established businesses.

Work commenced onsite in March 2023 and HPA oversaw the project which was undertaken by main contractor, Duckett Building Services. The roof was stripped, the timbers repaired and the valley gutters renewed. Burlington slate was re-laid in diminishing courses to help keep the building water tight for many years to come. New timber frame windows were reinstated to the front elevation, whilst a new mural designed and hand painted by Steve Carne of Carne&Co has been installed over the boarded windows to Lodge Street.

The stonework has also been repointed and cleaned throughout and the final, outstanding stage to be completed on the building will see the restoration of the historic carriage doors.

Architect Emma Newport said of the scheme:
“It has been a wonderful opportunity to be part of this project and help bring a new lease of life to this historic building. The feedback we have received has been incredible.”

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