Roof Repairs to Blackburn’s King George’s Hall Approved

A MAJOR re-roofing project was approved for the Grade II listed King George’s Hall in Blackburn as part of an £8m restoration.

Plans to reroof the pitched and flat roofs were approved by Blackburn Council last week.

Starting construction in 1913, King George’s Hall opened in 1921, following building work being interrupted by World War I.

The Hall has played host to some of the greatest bands in musical history. Acts which have performed there are Queen, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Robbie Williams, David Bowie, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Jam, and The Beatles – who played on June 9 1963.

The Hall contains a main auditorium with a capacity of around 2,000. There are also other, smaller spaces seating 750 and 500. It is recognised as an important cultural facility for the town and surrounding area of East Lancashire.

Plans Approved

The plans approved are for the repair and replacement of the pitched and flat roofs, new rooflights, roof access systems, and rainwater goods.

The 1185m2 pitched hipped roof replacement needed includes installation of new Welsh slate Penrhyn Heather blue slates. The aim will be to recover and reuse up to three-quarters of the existing slate, where possible. Hips and ridges which are currently clay tiled will be replaced like-for-like.

Lead stepped flashings and soakers will also be replaced.

A parapet wall will be repointed and a new valley gutter system will be installed replacing the existing bitumen valley.

A second, small 13.5m2 monopitch slate roof will also be overhauled.

15 Flat Roof Areas

For the 15 flat roof areas, a new Bauder Total Roof system will replace the existing bitumen felt overlain will a liquid plastic covering. The total area of all the flat roofs is approximately 1108m2.

Rooflights will be reduced in number and repaired where possible. A new fall protection system, walkways and handrails will also be installed.

The rainwater system of partly modern materials will be replaced with painted cast iron. Any lead feature hoppers and chutes will be restored and reinstated to conserve their heritage value.

The work is planned as part of a complete refurbishment of the town centre’s Northgate Conservation Area.

The £8m cost is provided from a Levelling Up grant of £20m to Blackburn with Darwen Council from central government.

Back to Grandeur

Borough planning manager Gavin Prescott commented: “The proposed developments are in relation to a programme of works regarding the first phase of a programme of repairs and renovations at King George’s Hall which are intended to bring the building back to the grandeur it held when it was first opened in 1921.

“The works are urgently required to be undertaken to prevent the hall from falling into further disrepair. The roofs require urgent replacement to remedy the ongoing widespread water ingress affecting the building.

“Water ingress is clearly visible within the auditorium, which if left unrepaired, will lead to further damage to the internal finishes/fixings.”

>> Read about more roof repair projects in the news

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