Hargreaves over halfway in £1m King’s Cross deal

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HARGREAVES Foundry says it is more than halfway to completing a deal worth more than £1m to create 396 cast iron columns for a new office building at King’s Cross in London.

Since casting work began back in June, Halifax-based Hargreaves Foundry has made 221 columns at heights of 6m and 3.25m, the largest columns weighing in at 2.2 tonnes.

The contract win created seven jobs at Hargreaves Foundry, which employs more than 70 people and has a turnover of £5m.

The iron founders have supplied castings to the engineering and construction industries for 130 years.

Hargreaves Foundry is well known as a manufacturer of cast iron drainage products. It also undertakes major art casting for sculptors including Anthony Gormley and has a sister company, Hargreaves Lock Gates.

Hargreaves managing director Michael Hinchliffe said: “Our company shares a Victorian heritage with the Kings Cross area as records show it was established before 1881. Today, with a staff of 72 we are one of the few foundries left in the UK capable of producing the size of these castings and the volume required.”

The columns are made from 100 per cent recycled scrap iron, largely from construction waste. So far, 215 tonnes of scrap have been melted down at the Halifax factory.

As batches of columns are completed, they are transported to London and lifted in by crane to form a colonnade around the building. They are then fixed into position on a concrete base by metal pins in resin and bolted against the concrete pillars to the top.

The building, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, will be one of six buildings around Pancras Square which sits between St Pancras International and King’s Cross Station.

It comprises 56,415 sq ft of offices, set over eight upper floors. Cast iron was chosen as a building material as it is in keeping with the area’s Victorian heritage. Hargreaves’ work on the project is due to be completed in June.

Richard Hall, marketing manager at Hargreaves, said the firm’s pipeline for projects is “pretty reasonable for the foreseeable future”, adding: “Like most small and medium-sized enterprises the last couple of years have been tough, but we’ve managed and we’ve remained stable and we’re looking forward to coming out of it a bit leaner.

“As things pick up we think we should be pretty competitive.”

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