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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Help us to keep RAF past alive in new Story Homes HQ

Workers from a former Royal Air Force depot are being urged to help influence a multi-million pound new development.

Story Homes graphic
How the building will look

The historic headquarters from RAF 14 MU is being transformed into the new headquarters of city-based firm Story Homes.

Company bosses are keen to pay homage to its past, while creating a cutting-edge new complex for its workforce.

It has revealed an image of how its traditional brick frontage will be changed to a more modern exterior.

Story Homes chief executive Steve Errington said: “Although we are revamping this iconic building into a modern and functional office space, we are really keen to ensure that we retain some of the original features of the building and keep the history and it’s past alive.

“We would be really interested to hear from anybody who has been linked with the building, especially those who have worked there.”

Eighty staff from Story Homes are preparing to make a £3 million move from the city’s Burgh Road Industrial Estate to the iconic building, now part of Kingmoor Park.

Staff from the company’s contracting division are leading work to refurbish the H-shaped building, which housed key RAF personnel from the base’s opening in September 1938 but has been empty since the site’s closure in 1997.

Architects POD have designed a modern office layout for the firm’s new Kingmoor base. Story Homes, part of the construction group founded and still headed by former Carlisle United owner Fred Story, hope to have their relocation completed by early next year.

Former 14 MU staff are pleased that the building’s history is to be incorporated into its future.

Jo Taylor, of Houghton, was a civilian head of establishment at the depot, and dealt with the base’s closure in 1997.

He said: “I worked in the building on and off throughout my RAF career, with my dad also working at the depot, my brother and sister having roles there and my daughter worked there too.

“The depot and the building has a lot of memories for us. I’m really pleased to hear that the character and period of the building is going to be retained and the history of the headquarters will be celebrated.”

A planning application for the detailed part of the building’s refurbishment has been lodged with Carlisle City Council.

Public consultation on the plan closes today. The firm hopes to have a ruling on planning permission within weeks.

The Story move is part of a package of deals worth tens of millions of pounds that bosses at Kingmoor hope to see through to fruition.

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