Run by Nottinghamshire County Council, Brooke Farm in Linby is an employment and training centre for adults with learning disabilities. They produce fruit and vegetables, eggs and bedding plants, selling them in the on-site farm shop and garden centre to contribute to the centre’s running costs.
We were brought on board to help refurbish the farm’s buildings and update its staff facilities, making it a more comfortable place to work and learn.
The main goal of the project was to refurbish the farm’s windows and roof, update its recreation room and create a new, flexible, usable space from an existing open-sided barn.
Because the buildings date from 1900 and sit within a conservation area, it was important to make sure each element was in keeping with the original character of the farm and its surroundings. With that in mind, we worked closely with the conservation officer to source appropriate materials. We carefully chose local suppliers based within 30 miles of the site to give extra support to the local economy.
In the staff recreation room, we installed a new floor, LED lighting and energy-efficient heating, making the space more comfortable and reducing the farm’s running costs.
Over in the open-sided barn, we added walls and replaced the original compacted earth floor with concrete. This created a practical, enclosed space that was much more useable and can now be used for storage, refrigeration equipment and farm events.
One of this project’s main challenges was making sure farm employees and customers could still use the site without being disrupted by construction. We collaborated with the management team and local conservation officer, keeping them informed about our progress, as well as any likely access issues.
While they were replacing the roof, our team discovered that a flue was uncovered and letting lots of water in. They were able to quickly solve the problem, stem the damage caused by the leak and make the roof watertight.
Since the refurbishments, the farm’s received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both staff and visitors.
Our work has already paved the way for another project at Brooke Farm. Nottinghamshire County Council is planning to build a new barn at the site, with its own food preparation area and visitor cafe. We’re delighted to be working on this project too, helping the farm create more opportunities for its team and more income to continue its work.
We’re really happy to have met Brooke Farm’s needs with a replacement roof and windows that fit beautifully into its surroundings and improve the building’s overall aesthetic.
The newly refurbished staff recreation room gives the team a more comfortable place to take a break and its new energy-efficient heating and lighting is saving the farm money – helping it continue its important community work.
Finally, the upgraded barn area provides a whole new space that can be used to host events, welcoming more people to the farm and helping to secure its future.