Dorset Chartered Builders, Greendale Construction Limited has started work at Swanage Pier Marine Villas as part of the Swanage Pier Trust’s restoration project, which will see the 190 year old building restored and turned into a new visitor centre and café.
The grade II listed Marine Villas is a Georgian villa which originally contained new, fashionable cold salt-water baths, but was soon converted into a private dwelling. Although Swanage Pier itself has existed since 1859, the current pier was opened in 1897, with the Swanage Pier Trust acquiring it 1994. Government funding has previously enabled repairs to the pier structure itself, and now, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Coastal Community Fund, Dorset County Council, Purbeck District Council, Swanage Town Council, trusts and foundations, a major restoration project has commenced, of which, Greendale will undertake a general refurbishment of the existing two storey Marine Villas. The works will include; construction of a new partially glazed structure extension, forming a new seated cafe area; internal structural alterations to facilitate the construction of new toilets, a commercial kitchen, and a platform lift to first floor office accommodation. Sympathetic repairs and alterations to the structure of the building will take place, with the introduction of load bearing glass floor panels in order to allow the viewing of the historic saltwater baths below the ground floor. New joinery fittings and doors, reception, exhibition spaces and a shop will be created, as well as a complete redecoration internally and externally. Alterations and an upgrade of existing electrical and plumbed services throughout the building will also be completed, and new paving outside.
The external toilet block will be having minor structural alterations to allow for the formation of new disabled toilet facilities, with internal layout configuration changes to provide modernised male public toilets, including drainage alterations, new sanitary ware, electrical and piped service alterations. A new doorway will be formed through external solid stone walls to provide access to toilets.
Rob Hooker, Director of Greendale Construction Limited, said: “Greendale is delighted to be on-board with this exciting and historically important restoration of the Swanage Pier Marine Villas. The work, which is due for completion in July 2018, will not only bring back to life this Georgian building, but also bring in many new visitors to the area, who will be able to learn more about the history of Swanage Pier and the Marine Villas.”
Ben Adeney, Chief Executive, Swanage Pier Trust commented: “We are now able to get underway with the Swanage Pier regeneration plans, thanks to the incredible support of the local community, the Heritage Lottery Fund, trusts, foundations and local authority. We are delighted that the Marine Villas restoration project is in the experienced hands of Greendale Construction who will create an amazing area for the local community and public to enjoy for generations to come.”