Wykeland reveals plans to breathe new life into landmark former Burton building

Wykeland Group Development Surveyor Tom Watson outside Hull’s landmark former Burton building

Developer Wykeland Group has unveiled plans to bring a landmark building in the heart of Hull back to life.

The former Burton building has been vacant since the fashion store closed its doors after owner Arcadia went into administration in 2020.

It was purpose-built as a fashionable men’s tailor shop in 1936 for company founder Montague Burton and, with its striking art deco facade, the building is one of the most distinctive in the city centre.

Having acquired the Grade II listed building, Hull-based Wykeland has now announced plans to conserve and regenerate the building.

Wykeland has submitted a planning application to Hull City Council for the extensive repair, refurbishment and conversion of the building to create a prime retail or restaurant space on the ground floor, with offices on the upper floors.

The imposing building, on the corner of Whitefriargate, close to Queen Victoria Square, features polished granite cladding, full height windows to the upper floors and decorative columns and balconies. However, it has fallen into disrepair over time, with the building’s fabric in poor condition, internally and externally.

The plans put forward by Wykeland include complete replacement of the cracked and worn cladding. The project would also involve replacement of all the windows with new metal-framed, double glazed units and creation of a new entrance facing Whitefriargate based on the design of the original Burton shopfront.

The building also has an internal art deco-style metal cage lift, which is being refurbished and brought back into use, while the plans also include recreating a parapet at roof level with the Burton name, which was once a key feature of the building.

Tom Watson, Development Surveyor at Wykeland, said: “Since acquiring the building, we’ve worked closely with our expert consultants, Historic England and Hull City Council’s Conservation Officer to bring forward these proposals.

“We plan to deliver a sympathetic regeneration of the building, saving a landmark, listed building from dereliction and bringing an important commercial space in a prominent city centre location back into use.

“We have invested significantly in Hull city centre over many years, including in Whitefriargate, and the acquisition and proposed reinvigoration of the Burton building underlines our commitment to the heart of the city.”

The building has four floors, plus a basement, with a total of 11,000 sq ft of space. The proposed retail or restaurant area on the ground floor will offer 2,000 sq ft of floorspace, with the first, second and third floors each covering 2,600 sq ft.

Jonathan Stubbs, Development Director at Wykeland, said: “We identified the significant potential this building offers and were pleased to secure it following the collapse of Arcadia. These plans will enable the building to have a long-term, commercially viable future.

“Once redeveloped, this will be a fantastic opportunity for businesses to move into a landmark building in a prime location in the heart of Hull.

“That potential has been reflected in interest we have already received in the building as we have developed our plans to bring it back into use.”

Subject to planning approval, work on the building is expected to begin in early 2023. The project is expected to take up to 12 months, meaning the building could be in use again by late 2023 or early 2024.

Wykeland is a major player in the regeneration of Hull, including through its work with housebuilder Beal Homes in the Wykeland Beal joint venture delivering the £80m rejuvenation of the Fruit Market, in partnership with Hull City Council. The developer has an outstanding track record of conserving and revitalising buildings of historic and heritage importance.

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