Major Building Award Win For McKnight Development

Carlisle construction firm McKnight has been honoured for a luxury property development built on an historic site in the city. 

The Old School Court project won the Best High Volume New Housing Development in the North of England section of the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Building Excellence Awards 2022.

The company’s win in the LABC’s regional awards means they go through to the grand finals in London in January.

Old School Court is situated on the site of the former Caldewgate School in Kendal Street, off Shaddongate, where McKnight incorporated aspects of the original building into the new design in order to preserve the heritage of the area.

Completed in June, the development offers 15 houses and 20 apartments for local people and residents began moving into the properties in April.

Director Wayne McKnight said: “We are delighted with this award. This was a flagship development for McKnight and one that is literally very close to us – we can see it from our offices.

“So we wanted to do it justice and respect the history of a building that dates back to Victorian times and still holds many memories for people.

“We wanted to pay homage to the history of this site so we briefed the architect to design a property that included some of the features of the old Caldewgate School.

“While it may have taken extra time and skill, it was worth it and Old School Court will stand as a testament to our dedicated craftsman and our collective passion for our city.

“There was a lot of fondness for the school so although it was very dated and had become a bit damaged over the years we just felt it was a nice touch to include some of those features.

“Now we’re looking forward to the grand finals at the start of next year.”

Caldewgate School closed in 1988 and more recently the building was the University of Cumbria’s Fine Art campus. 

Prior to demolition in 2017, McKnight held open days for former pupils.

The Old School Court development is a mixture of luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom homes nestled in the perfect location – close enough to amenities and the city centre but with the peace and quiet of the suburbs.