Historic Durham building to get £1.5m transformation

Historic Durham building to get £1.5m transformation

A historic building in the heart of Durham city is to be transformed into 12 luxury apartments, following a major investment from a leading property group.

The FiftyTwo Group is converting 52 Old Elvet, a Grade II listed building, into one- and two-bedroom apartments. While retaining many of the original features of the house – built in the early 1700s – the flats will be designed to offer many modern facilities. Plans for the development have been underway for two years, finally getting the green light in June, with the aim of completion by March 2018. The developers have embraced many of the original features of the house: one of the apartments has an original range as a focal point, while the former dining room will be turned into a kitchen/living room.

The kitchen/living area

Fergus Bell, Director of the FiftyTwo Group, said: “With all the investment currently taking place around Durham, there couldn’t be a better time for a high quality, luxury development like this to be taking place in a building with such incredible history.

“We have spent a great deal of time ensuring the apartments will be finished to the highest standards throughout, but at the same time we’ve also made sure that we’ve incorporated as many of the original features as possible.”


The group has engaged the services of Durham-based architecture practice Howarth Litchfield to develop the scheme, due its experience with converting listed buildings.

Jonathan Yates, Managing Director at Howarth Litchfield, said: “This is a wonderful Grade II listed building, which is more than 200 years old. As you would imagine, the building contains some fine examples of door architraves, ceiling friezes, ceiling roses and a magnificent grand staircase, all of which will be retained.

“We have worked closely with Durham County Council’s conservation officers to ensure that the amount of alterations to the building and its fabric are kept to a minimum and those that are required, are sympathetic to its history.”

The £1.5m scheme is one of a number in the FiftyTwo Group’s portfolio, with founders Fergus Bell and Daniel Gibson looking at a variety of other projects.


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