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Burnley firm expands with foundry and sports centre

18 Nov 16 A new casting foundry and a sports centre, jointly valued at £5.7m, are being added to the Fort Vale Engineering premises in Calder Vale Park, Burnley.

CGI of Wilson Fort Sports Centre
CGI of Wilson Fort Sports Centre

Fort Vale Engineering makes valves and fittings for bulk liquid transport tankers. The two projects are being built to mark its 50 years of service in 2017.

Manchester architect Fletcher Rae has planned the new developments and Burnely-based Dale Contractors is building them. Both companies have been involved with Fort Vale's prior builds and also work together on other schemes.

The Wilson Fort Sports Centre, named after the company’s owners Ian Wilson and Edward Fort, is costing £3.5m to build and covers more than 15,000 sq ft. The new foundry extends over 25,150 sq ft, close to the main site.

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Work has now begun and the aim is to complete both builds in autumn of 2017.

Fletcher Rae architect Andrew Rae said: “The Fort Vale site is located on the edge of the existing greenbelt, so we’ve been sensitive to respect the surrounding land, whist attempting to blend into the space and leverage the panoramic views. We’ve sourced local materials, consisting of earthy tones of natural brickwork and anodised bronze, to provide a sustainable solution while helping to set the building in its context. The sports centre overlooks the landscape through large vertical windows, similar to the old sandstone mills, which were once a common feature of the area, and a series of roof-lights that also provides natural light and fresh air into the space. And to reduce the building overall massing, sleek flat panel cladding was incorporated.

“The foundry is being positioned, near other large industrial building of similar scale and design, in close proximity to Fort Vale’s main site. And the internal layout has been designed to minimise vehicle movements and provide easily transfer materials between their facilities. Additionally, the building is being placed to the west of the plot, to be furthest away from residential neighbourhoods, to minimise noise impact for properties on Railway Terrace and visual obstructions of views from Simonstone Lane.”

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