As part of our continued commitment to enhance our property and service, we are thrilled to advise you that we are undertaking an exciting renovation project on both our public and external areas around Derwent Bank. This will include the construction of a beautiful new orangery, new accommodation for our leaders and house team plus eight new guest bedrooms in the grounds to replace the old chalets. It was essential for the longevity of Derwent Bank that we tackled all these issues, especially those effecting the welfare of our team.
It was recognised a few years ago that there were a number of buildings at the house that were no longer fit for purpose and needed to be changed. They included the Manager's house, the team accommodation, the conservatory and the chalet block.
As well as the four main areas above, there are several other structural issues that need addressing including improving the electric supply, restoring the chimney above the conservatory, replacing the sewage system and moving the bar.
A project team that included a Planning Consultant, an Architect, a Quantity Surveyor plus a team from HF Holidays has progressed the project. We have also engaged a local building firm to help us bring the scheme to life. As part of Phase 1, our existing conservatory has already been dismantled. During this time, our guests will be able to make full use of our selection of board games, magazines and a cosy fireplace in our lounge as well as our well-stocked bar.
Once all completed, we will have added three new buildings to Derwent Bank plus a number of smaller improvements throughout the site.
The Garden rooms replace the chalets that were located to the side of the main house. The new building will contain eight bedrooms compared to the five rooms in the chalet block.
The footprint of the building is slightly bigger; however the significant change is it's now a two-storey building with four bedrooms along the bottom rather than five ground floor rooms. This gives the bedrooms a bigger footprint plus their own courtyard or balcony facing towards the lake.
The building has a direct link to the new Orangery which removes the need for guests to walk around the front of the house to get in. It also has a direct link to the boot room. Both paths give the feeling of connection to the main house.
The Orangery will be located in the corner of the house where the old conservatory stood. It will have bi-folding doors that open up to a raised patio area overlooking the gardens and lake.
Underneath the patio will be the maintenance storage area and bar cellar. As part of the design we have put in the provision to relocate the bar to the middle lounge. The purpose of this move is to put the bar/social space in the middle of the house and closer to the restaurant rather than being at one end. Our plan is to make this change in 2020.
Below are the key timing of the build projects. We have built in some bad weather contingency to each timescale.
Available to guests
|27 June 2019|
|5 July 2019|
Leader & Manager House
|1 August 2019|
As you can see, there will be building work happening while guests are in the house. Our aim is to keep disruption to a minimum so that they enjoy their holiday with us.
- Reopening: The Orangery will re-open for guest use on 20 June 2019. Prior to this date guests will be able to access the restaurant via the side door just past the office.
We are conscious that we will have guests in the house while the garden rooms and the new houses are being built. We have a number of measures in place to prevent disruption, they include:
- Restricted building time – building work between the hours of Monday to Friday, 8am and 5.30pm and Saturdays from 8am until 1pm. Looking at the build programme we believe that most of the noisy garden room work will be completed by 01 June.
- Health and Safety – some areas of the grounds will be fenced off from team and guests. At times this will affect the coach pick up location; this will be managed at a local level by the house team.
There will be construction traffic using the bottom drive entrance which is located next to the Coach house. We will encourage guests and delivery vehicles to use the car park entrance to reduce the any risk or any delay in getting on to site.
- Dust – we’ve arranged for regular road sweeping to take place to reduce the amount of dust that will be generated.
- New house build – the build programme for the new houses is out of our control; however they need to follow the building timing detailed above and the build must be completed by August 2020
As part of the Transfer of Deeds (selling of the land) we have added a number of clauses regarding external building finishing to ensure it is in keeping with the local environment and the finishing does not diminish our guest experience.
Every effort has been made to minimise the impact on you during your stay and we apologise for any inconvenience during the house makeover. We sincerely appreciate your understanding while we make these improvements to the house and thank you for your continued support during this time.
In the grounds of Derwent Bank, we have located our experimental POD for testing. The POD is designed to sleep 2 but can accommodate a family of 4. It comes fully equipped with underfloor heating, bathroom, Wi-Fi, TV and is fully furnished. We’re still tweaking it and we hope to have guests staying in it next season.