Knowles Focus on Heritage | Q&A With Managing Director, Robin Knowles
Why has Knowles launched a Heritage division?
Knowles Heritage has been in the making for over a year now, born from an increase in demand for our services outside London. We noticed a gap in the market as we started works on a private country house, and the demand rapidly became apparent at a time that coincided with the demise of long-standing contractors in the area.
We want to use this opportunity to highlight where else we operate – we have successfully delivered projects outside of London for many years, and continue to do so. Whilst many of our clients primarily operate in London, they have projects out of London that require work. We build many of our relationships in London, and they naturally progress and provide opportunities in areas such as The Cotswolds, Chilterns and the surrounding counties.
What is your vision for Knowles Heritage?
Knowles Heritage are a team who are at the top of their field having worked on historic and new-build private residences, as well as restoration and Country estate works. Knowles Heritage will provide excellence and expertise, in a market that has a clear gap, but coupled with our Knowles reputation that is to always provide a unique and innovative approach to construction projects.
What can clients expect from Knowles Heritage?
Expect the same level of expertise and service as you would o with Knowles in London. The business proposition is the same as our Construction arm, which provides an expertly managed, personal approach and turnkey service. These foundations are what we have built our business on, and our Heritage division is no different.
How do the markets differ in London and the Home Counties?
Increasingly there is very little between the two, however the scope for construction projects is far greater than in London – we are seeing clients explore more than just the main residence, we are working on outbuilding as well as wider estate works such as building access road, entrances and exits as well as wide landscaping works. These are, for obvious reasons, not that present in London. But of course whilst subterranean works lends itself very well to both settings, increasingly gaining planning permission in the country for basements is becoming a lot easier than in London.
This is due to many factors, namely the general space surrounding the property mean that party-wall agreements aren’t required, furthermore planning permissions often restricts builds that can affect the general vista, and the beauty of subterranean work is that you cannot see it, therefore is often preferable to large-scale extensions. Many areas that we are working with are within protected areas or areas of outstanding natural beauty, so it is important to maintain this.
Finally, the factor that clearly differs is the luxury of increased open space which provides a helpful resource when working on large-scale projects both in the overall site-set up and general scope for architectural vision.
Find out more at www.knowlesheritage.uk.com and follow us on instagram @knowles_heritage