Renovations of a major Cumbrian site are currently underway, as the first stage of redevelopment continues to go well.

Work on both the inside and outside of the former Pencil Factory in Keswick began in November, with Keswick Ministries – which owns the site – looking to install toilets, meeting rooms, two large multi-use spaces and reception on the ground floor.

Power and heating is also being installed throughout the building.

A £1.9million contract was awarded to Cumbrian firm Thomas Armstrong for this work, which is Phase One of the major revamp of the iconic former factory.

The £9.5 million pound revamp project is set to be carried out in three phases, and aims to be completed by 2024.

Outside the building there are new accesses, footpaths and landscaping.

Commenting when the work began, David Sawday, chief operating officer for Keswick Ministries, said: “We’re delighted with the way the project has progressed this year, which means that that work on the interior can now get under way as we work towards the full refurbishment this iconic art deco building.

“We’re enormously grateful to local companies like Keswick Scaffolding, Mike Fell Builders, Graham Wilsons and The Environment Practice as well as Carlisle based PMS Fabrication and The Flat Roofing Company who have made this possible.

“We look forward to working with Thomas Armstrong for this next section of transformation work.”

With both external and internal changes to be made, alterations must be made in-line with planning conditions.

And Lake District National Park’s planning authority has this week confirmed Keswick Ministries is following these, with the colour, materials and designs of windows and doors, external wall finishes, rainwater goods and parapet coping stones all complying with the approval conditions.

Despite the multiple lockdowns and other Covid restrictions, great progress was made on the refurbishment of the Pencil Factory last year, including the inside of the building being stripped, new concrete floors laid, the building re-roofed, insulated and rendered, and new windows being installed.

For more information on the compliance with conditions, visit the Lake District National Park's online planning page.