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Built to last: Harvey’s Foundry Transformed into office and art space

An exciting regeneration project has seen the once-derelict Harvey’s Foundry in Hayle transformed into a range of modern multi-functional spaces.

When The Prince’s Foundation was approached by the local community in Hayle, Cornwall to help develop plans to convert and re-use parts of Harvey’s Foundry, Cornwall's first iron foundry, it was clear this would be a unique yet challenging project. And one that could ultimately preserve the heritage of this town for future generations.

The Foundry in Hayle was established in 1779 by John Harvey and its primary output was cast iron. It later diversified into many trades and at one time 80% of the world’s steam pumping engines were produced there. However, when the area suffered wide industrial decline, the Foundry was left redundant and its future was uncertain for many years.

The Prince’s Foundation developed a strategy to set up a local building preservation group and supported a phased approach. Careful consideration was given to the heritage of the site, as well as the local community and its needs. The phased approach to the works enabled a degree of flexibility to respond to changing opportunities and circumstances.

Phase I focused on restoring the former drawing office on Foundry Square, which was the most prominent building. This created a rentable office space, at present used as the head office for the Building Preservation Trust and the heritage centre. This phase also saw the construction of an environmentally-friendly new build called Dowren House in 2004, which provides 8,000 sq ft of space for a range of businesses.

Phase II focused on Harvey’s Farmyard and Stable Blocks, turning these derelict buildings into 16 craft and art workshops, three of which are live/work units and the first of their kind in West Cornwall. Finally, Phase III created a heritage information centre and more work space.

The project has successfully created more than 100 jobs and has also had a noticeably positive effect on the regeneration of the town. Since the start of the project, Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape has been added to the list of World Heritage sites.

Visit Harvey's Foundry Trust to find out more

When the Prince's Foundation was involved in this project it was known as The Prince's Regeneration Trust

Image of exterior at Harvey's Foundry

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