Roofers kings of the castle

Martin-Brooks completes the new roof on the Little Castle at North Derbyshire's Bolsover Castle
Martin-Brooks completes the new roof on the Little Castle at North Derbyshire's Bolsover Castle

heritage roofing specialists Martin-Brooks has completed a two-year labour of love to restore one of the region’s most famous castles to its former glory.

After undertaking the first phase of repairs at North Derbyshire’s Bolsover Castle in 2009, Martin-Brooks has now returned to complete its work on the roof of the ancient structure.

Martin-Brooks’ heritage craftsmen have been repairing the roof of the grade I listed Little Castle.

The firm has stripped lead off the castle roof and replaced it using traditional methods and materials. Where possible, the existing lead was recast into new panels at a local foundry and re-used.

The work is part of a larger English Heritage project run by main contractor, Woodhead Heritage. The roof restoration at Bolsover Castle was completed in phases so as not to impact on visitors’ enjoyment of the attraction.

Dale Wright, Martin-Brooks’ contracts director, said: “Bolsover Castle is one of our most prestigious local landmarks and it has been an honour to be involved in its preservation.

“The finish achieved by our expert roofers demonstrates the level of skill needed to retain the character of our architectural heritage. This has been a lengthy project that has involved a great deal of planning, but it is very rewarding to reach such a positive conclusion.”

Martin-Brooks was shortlisted for the second consecutive year in the Heritage Roofing category of The Roofing Awards 2011, run by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC)and it also recently became one of the first firms in South Yorkshire to secure a new industry standard.

The business has been awarded Competent Roofer status, which entitles the firm to self-certify any work that requires building regulation approval.

The Competent Roofer initiative, part of the government’s Competent Person Scheme, was launched recently by industry watchdog, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC). Member companies are able to endorse their own work so that homeowners can be issued with a certificate of building regulation compliance without needing a council inspection.

Currently, if repairs are carried out to more than 25% of a roof’s area they must be signed off by a building inspector. This has a cost to the homeowner of around £95 and requires a raft of council paperwork to be completed before the certificate of approval is issued. This is an essential document and would be requested by any potential purchaser as proof that the work was carried out professionally.

Director Nick Brooks said: “We are extremely pleased to be pioneering this innovative new scheme, which aims to reduce the red tape surrounding domestic roof repairs. Not all homeowners are aware that building regulation approval is compulsory on large jobs, but by achieving this standard we can remove any hidden costs and ensure the process no longer causes unnecessary inconvenience.”