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Northallerton, UK

From Victorian prison into a 21st Century tech hub, Treadmills is far from a standard ‘change of use’ project.

Working with C4DI, Wykeland Group and Hambleton District Council to refurbish the site of the former Treadmills prison in Northallerton was one of our most unusual and challenging projects to date. 

The project involved the design, fit-out and furnishing of the 200-year-old building on the site to transform it into flexible spaces for start-ups and growing digital businesses in the North Yorkshire area.

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200-year-old penitentiary reimagined beyond belief

This was an unusual project for us and we were delighted to be able to demonstrate our creativity.

The nature of the space was the biggest challenge. The Grade II listed prison, built in 1820, is protected by English Heritage – so we were careful to maintain as many of the original features as possible, weaving in historical elements throughout the space.

We were also keen to ensure the workspace told the story of the building’s unique history while also incorporating the modern design elements the client was looking for.

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We highlighted the existing industrial feel with concrete flooring and exposed brickwork, beams and conduit lighting.

The former cells have been reimagined and are now light, inviting office spaces. While booths and break out areas are now incorporated into the former prison’s corridors. There are core collaboration areas in the central corridor sections and we’ve even retained the original bars on the windows in the communal areas.

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Sq ft

12,000

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Location

Northallerton, UK

Agile spaces for agile businesses

The new space aimed to foster creativity and innovation for local businesses. As such, it was critical we created a working environment that was agile, collaborative and inspiring.

Drawing upon previous experience, we produced designs that transformed the prison into agile working spaces. The mix included a reception area, meeting rooms, office spaces, breakout spaces and flexible collaboration areas. The more informal, comfortable areas all facilitate collaboration, sociability and productivity.

The colour scheme remained in-keeping with the building’s industrial background and included Pantone’s 2021 Colours of the Year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. When paired with the contrasting black, white and the mix of textures, this creates an energetic and inspiring environment, perfect for young start-ups and freelancers. 

Delivering social value

The prison buildings had been derelict since 2013. Helping to deliver social value and support the local community through the regeneration of the site was a key focal point of the design. While attracting new talent to Northallerton was also an essential part of our process.

Treadmills is a unique office space. Its positive energy makes people want to return and encourages them to feel motivated. This has helped attract and retain new businesses and freelancers in the area.

It’s been a gamechanger for the agritech industry. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the region.

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We have worked with Chameleon for over 17 years. Although they have carried out two excellent fit outs of our own HQ, we are a property developer and have introduced them to numerous office tenants of ours for them to complete fit-outs on both new build and refurbished office space. Our reputation, after 50 years of growing it, is extremely important to us so we only introduce suppliers to our tenants that we are 100% happy with. All projects are expertly designed, delivered and finished on time.

Dominic Gibbons, Managing Director at Wykeland Group
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