BDC Magazine

grace construction

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024

grace construction

Construction commences to transform iconic Derby building into classic vehicle centre of excellence

East Midlands-based design and building contractor, Grace Construction, is set to commence work on the transformation of the iconic Derbyshire building, Victoria Ironworks. The former foundry, which currently serves as the Rolls Royce Heritage Centre, will be converted into as classic vehicle restoration workshop and showroom, becoming the new home of heritage vehicle initiative, Great Northern Classics. Led by Grace Construction, the extensive renovation project has begun following years of planning and design. With a dedicated team of 40 contractors on site, it is expected to take approximately one year to complete. The vast site encompasses four conjoined factory buildings, which will enable Great Northern Classics to house a fully equipped training school, workshops, a vehicle storage area, exhibition and entertainment space. As part of the plans for the project, Grace Constructions will install a full glass frontage leading to a feature staircase and mezzanine floor. As well as restoring the building’s existing character features. Stuart Bennett, owner of Grace Constructions, commented: “It’s a real honour and privilege to be leading this important conservation project. The site holds so much history and heritage to Derby and indeed to the whole country, having witnessed and contributed to some of the most significant industrial developments throughout the twentieth century. “When working on the designs and plans, the real challenge was to balance preserving the building’s rich past and full character, while adding new elements to enable the building to become a fully functional and secure. “We hope that the project will enable future generations of vehicle enthusiasts to fulfil their passion and hone their skills, as well as creating a destination for Derbyshire and adding to the legacy of this iconic building. We’re looking forward to getting construction work and the next chapter of Victoria Ironworks underway,” he added. Shaun Matthews, the Driving Force behind Great Northern Classics, added: “Stuart and I have been working closely on this project since our first meeting in 2018, whilst many things have changed since then our shared passion for classic vehicles and delivering something spectacular for Derby has remained constant.” “Now we have the ownership of the site and its rich history we are very excited to begin the job of converting it into Great Northern Classics, a truly unique project and opportunity for the East Midlands.” The transformation of Victoria Ironworks is one of the latest high-profile projects undertaken by Grace Construction, having previously completed construction of Derby’s Kings Crescent residential development, Nottingham-based Whyburn Business Park and We Are Padel Derby, to name but a few. For more information about Grace Construction, visit Find out more about Great Northern Classics at

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