Inspiration for Award-Winning Design

The Land of Oak & Iron is a region covering the Derwent Valley and surrounds, an area of natural beauty with an industrial heritage of steel and iron manufacturing. With funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, a Landscape Partnership – hosted by Groundwork NE & Cumbria – launched a £3.4 million project due to be completed by 2020.

The centrepiece project of the initiative is a new heritage centre at Winlaton Mill, which celebrates the region’s industrial, cultural and natural heritage. It is built on the site of Ambrose Crowley’s iron works, a revolutionary industrial operation. It is anticipated that this new tourist attraction, being run as a social enterprise, may bring more than £500,000 into the local community.

Architecture students at Northumbria University submitted designs for the proposed centre, and hundreds of local people nominated their favourite. The winning design was by Matthew Glover, who used a waterwheel, the driver of early factories, as his inspiration. The completed project was shortlisted for an RICS award in 2019.

The centre’s inner wall, facing an internal courtyard, features a partially open, wooden facade. Installations using this increasingly popular type of rainscreen/facade design necessitate the use of underlying breather membranes with high UV and water resistance, to ensure long-term protection to the building envelope. In addition, a public building such as the heritage centre needs high levels of fire safety. The answer to both these demands was provided by Powerlon UV145FR, a flame retardant breather membrane rated Euroclass B for flame retardancy and with a ten-year warranty for superior UV resistance. It is suitable for use behind partially open facades with an opening size no greater than 15mm.

Powerlon UV145FR is supplied by Industrial Textiles & Plastics (ITP) a North Yorkshire firm with more than 25 years’ experience in flame retardant and chemical resistant technologies. Other UV resistant membranes offered by ITP come in a variety of colours and are suitable for use behind facade systems with up to 100mm gaps.
ITP also supply an extensive range of gas and chemical resistant barrier membranes and the FlameOut range of breather and building membranes, including the UK’s only Class A2, non-combustible breather membrane.


Winlaton Mill, Blaydon,
Tyne & Wear

Land of Oak & Iron Heritage Centre for Groundwork NE & Cumbria

Esh Construction Ltd

Matthew Glover Architecture

Powerlon UV145 FR


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