Hargreaves has a cast of 396!

Building B2 Pancras Square. Image by Argent
Building B2 Pancras Square. Image by Argent

A Halifax foundry has won a £1 million plus contract to provide 396 cast iron columns for a new office building in central London.

Hargreaves Foundry at Water Lane, South Parade, still uses century-old manufacturing processes specialising in one-off unique products.

Hargreaves Foundry,  Halifax

Hargreaves Foundry, Halifax

Its latest project will provide a year’s work for the foundry, create up to a dozen jobs and safeguard the current staff of 72 at the 130-year-old company.

The columns will feature on Building B2 in Pancras Square, at the gateway to the King’s Cross development and between St Pancras International and King’s Cross Stations.

Managing director Michael Hinchliffe said: “We are set up to be quick and nimble and our production planning has got even better because it has had to.

“We are not mass producers and work with one-off unique products.”

The firm’s specialist pattern making and foundry skill-base has been built in-house due to the scarcity of college training and helps set the company apart from the competition.

Sculptor Antony Gormley has worked with Hargreaves and his link with the London architects behind the development - David Chipperfield Architects - helped seal the deal.

“I think the architects recognised we were dedicated to quality and are reliable and I would hope this could lead to more work,” said Mr Hinchliffe.

Hargreaves is one of only a few foundries left in the UK capable of delivering the project.

The columns are made with 100 per cent recycled cast iron and range in height with some weighing up to 2.2 tonnes.

The ground floor columns will form a colonnade around the building where there will be shops and restaurants with offices on the eight upper floors.

The target completion date is late 2013. The development is part of the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership project which is providing 1,900 new homes, 3.4 m sq ft of office space and 500,000 sq ft of retail space.

There will be 20 new streets, 10 major public spaces and 20 historic buildings and structures are being restored and refurbished across the site.

After four years of construction across the 67-acre development the first premises opened in September 2011 and around a third of the site is already “spoken for.”