129 year old Teesside University building set for historic refurbishment
The future of business start-up in Teesside is looking bright following the refurbishment of a 129-year-old Teesside University building.
Students, graduates, and employees are all set to benefit from the £1.7 million renovation, which saw the Grade II listed Victoria Building undergo a major internal revamp and external repair works.
Steve Dougan, Head of Enterprise at Teesside University, is responsible for the management of the new business space. He said: “This building has always been about more than just space. It is a hub around which an entrepreneurial community spins.
“This refurbishment has created a truly unique and innovative base camp for a new generation of entrepreneurs to set out on their journey. In delivering this project, Esh have consistently gone above and beyond, in challenging circumstances, and the results speak for themselves.”
Formerly used as a school when constructed in 1892, the project was commissioned to restore the building’s heritage features and create an industrial-looking and open-plan space. The suspended ceilings were removed to reveal the impressive scale of the original windows, while externally, a specialist steeplejack restored the roof and chimney.
The Victoria Building is central to the University’s mission to create opportunities for its students and graduates, and to support the continued economic growth of the region.
More than 400 start-ups began in the Victoria Building during the last 20 years, many of which have gone on to create hundreds of high-quality jobs in the Teesside area. The University Enterprise Zone and this exciting new multi-use space will support and accelerate that activity.
Esh Construction has overseen the project in the heart of the university’s Enterprise Zone, where the space has been transformed into an enhanced business hub. Mayor of Middlesbrough, Andy Preston, said: “Middlesbrough wants to see even more exciting new jobs and life changing career opportunities. For this to happen on a massive scale we need inspiring institutions and great places to work from – Teesside Uni and The Victoria Building do this for us.
“They’ve played a direct role in the creation of almost countless jobs and businesses. Thank you, Teesside Uni, and also thank you to Esh Construction for the phenomenal improvements to The Victoria Building you have brought about.”
To create the industrial look, low hung lighting and exposed pipework features throughout while careful use of fabrics and colour have been chosen to complement the space and light in the building. On the upper floor, the original parquet flooring and wall tiling has been revived, bringing the Victorian-style features into the 21st century business space.
Gary Dobson, Divisional Director at Esh Construction, said: “We are pleased to handover the newly refurbished Victoria Building to Teesside University. It has been great to see the team re-invigorate the buildings key heritage features and provide a new bright and vibrant business space in Middlesbrough.”
The revamped hub provides a 32-seat commercial co-working space, an incubation space with 12 starter offices and a dedicated video games studio accelerator with space for six start-up studios. A new micro-manufacturing wing will provide five workshop spaces, one of which will become home to a refugee community bakery project.