There’s a new buzz in Liskeard! The Workshed – a new digital and creative business hub designed by JTP is making an impact in the heart of the traditional Cornish market town of Liskeard.
In December 2017, the final livestock sale was held at Liskeard Cattle Market creating an opportunity to rethink the future of this key area in the heart of the town. The following year saw the adoption of the Liskeard Neighbourhood Plan which encouraged the development of “a mix of uses that support the vitality and viability of the town centre”. In March 2019, JTP was asked to facilitate a five-day Charrette, funded by the then MHCLG, to create a Vision for the cattle market. Following two days of public workshops and walkabouts, the JTP team worked to turn the ideas generated into a Vision and indicative masterplan for the site, which was reported back on day five of the Charrette.
JTP facilitates the Liskeard Charrette in 2019
JTP were subsequently commissioned as architects for Phase 1, the first of three key phases for the delivery of the masterplan. Phase 1 comprised a new creative workspace hub providing 17 flexible units aimed at Cornwall’s booming digital and creative industries sectors and medium sized enterprises (SME’s), supporting around 33 jobs and adding around £1.2m a year to the local economy. The regeneration also features a new market, events space and a new market and events canopy. The new workspace hub, now known as The Workshed, was to provide a flexible and adaptable place of work, making Liskeard a “creative magnet” for Cornwall and beyond.
Detailed planning approval was granted in September 2020 and after over two years on site The Workshed was officially opened on 28 October 2023 by the Mayor of Liskeard Councillor Simon Cassidy with Councillor Pauline Giles, Chair of Cornwall Council and Councillor Jane Pascoe, Liskeard South and Dobwalls Ward.
The Workshed and events canopy is already creating a buzz within the town centre and the local business community. A range of events have taken place in the events area including local produce markets and, on the day of the Workshed opening; the Prime Livestock Show.
The Workshed Deputy manager Darren Peart said, “When I first came to the Workshed, I was struck by how impressive the actual finished product was – it’s such an impressive place and space – it’s where I want to be!”
And Lisa who regularly comes in from a nearby village to use the co-working desk-space said, “It’s brought a conversation and a bit of disruption into Liskeard, and a place to connect with people. I like the feel of the building – it’s open and a bit raw! I like being in the town centre – just that feel of being in the community – being able to see out the window and feel connected and access the services and shops.”
The Workshed is already starting to bring benefits to the wider town centre. John from Liskeard in Bloom commented, “The new development has given us the unprecedented opportunity to push our own boundaries and work with the developers and tap into our relationships with traders and small businesses across town. So, when we were given the chance to be part of the group that is planning events with the manager of The Workshed, it seemed a natural and obvious fit for us.” To date, the group has coordinated several market-type events that have reached beyond the cattle market to promote the town’s heritage.
The feedback we have heard from other parts of the town has been as generous as it has been spontaneous – “the heritage shopping quarter in Fore Street has seen increased footfall when the monthly Food and Craft Market is running, a foretaste of what we can expect to see during the annual Christmas Fair and Lights Up Parade.”
The Building’s Design
With the site’s prime location in the town centre, the ambitious regeneration enhances and celebrates Liskeard’s Cornish market town culture with the positive acknowledgment of the town’s heritage reflected in the designs.
The Workshed was designed to provide sustainable, high-quality and flexible workspaces to encourage innovation and collaboration. The building form is broken down into three sections, introducing a stepped façade to create a sense of arrival as visitors approach the building addressed by active frontages. This layout maximises daylight with large openings creating a dialogue with adjacent spaces and buildings. The integration of spaces and function further provides an open and inviting area for people to interact with one another.
The inclusion of dark zinc and light timber as the primary building materials reference the aesthetic of local agricultural and industrial buildings which use simple materials in a bold manner. The Workshed follows a similar principle by using corrugated zinc to create a durable exterior and introducing light timber cladding to articulate the building’s massing.
In order to accommodate growth and enable flexibility in use, the building has been designed to cater for a range of spaces and working environments. These include office and workshop space, and areas for hot desking and collaborative working between businesses. As organisations grow and flex through their life cycles, it is essential that the building can accommodate these changes efficiently and economically. This will ensure that the Workshed remains a versatile asset in Cornwall for years to come.
To get in touch with The Workshed design team at JTP please contact partners Charles Campion or Emmet O’Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about The Workshed please visit https://www.liskeardworkshed.co.uk