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Northern architect appointed for £26 million British Steel plant

A North East architectural practice has shown its mettle by being named lead architect and engineer on a major £26 million industrial development.

Building Design Northern (BDN Ltd) has been appointed to bring British Steel’s new processing facilities at Skinningrove, in east Cleveland, to life.

Bosses say the venture marks the steel company’s largest investment in its special profiles business for more than 30 years.

BDN provided an initial architectural and engineering feasibility study of the site prior to the work going to tender, with the firm having been appointed across multiple disciplines to carry out all of the design work on the development.

British Steel has experienced strong growth for its products in recent months, particularly those used in the mining and construction sectors, and officials say the new built-to-spec service centre will see the company bring to market an extended range of value-added profiles for the forklift industry.

Richard Marsden, BDN managing director, said: “The continued investment by British Steel into Skinningrove will provide a huge boost to the Tees Valley’s historic steel industry and we are delighted to be working closely with the company to help bring this exciting project to life.

“As a practice with offices in the North East and the North West, we know just how important developments such as this will play in helping ‘level-up’ the North as we bounce back from the pandemic and we’re incredibly proud to be involved, and building on a strong track record of designing and engineering industrial buildings.”

Work on the new facilities is expected to start late 2022 with commissioning expected to start in August 2023. The large scale of the scheme will involve a wide range of contractors covering a vast array of skills, from construction to turning and milling expertise to automated warehousing companies.

BDN has been supporting national and international clients for 35 years and last year moved into a new head office on the outskirts of Sunderland city centre, creating 14 jobs with a further ten to be created over the next 12 months as the company continues to expand.

Richard added: “I’m enormously proud of the BDN team, who have shown incredible resilience and skill over the past 18 months to ensure the business has continued to grow during the pandemic and we aim to continue increasing our headcount as we re-emerge from the pandemic and help get the UK building again.”