Bingley, West Yorkshire
Established in France in 1953 by the three Despature brothers, Damart is a long-established clothing and footwear retailer. In 1967 the company purchased the traditional Bowling Green Mills in Bingley, West Yorkshire, to set up a UK base. The Victorian York stone building, which dates from the mid-19th century, provides a substantial manufacturing capability, as well as being the company’s UK head office.
In 2018, the management recognised the need to improve the staff’s catering and break-out facilities to create a substantial dining room and informal meeting area for the 350+ staff. The brief to Ben Northrop, the company’s Facilities Manager who was responsible for the makeover, was to create a contemporary space whilst embracing the industrial heritage of the building.
The main restaurant, now named 1871 (after the date the mill was built), has been totally furnished by contract furniture supplier Andy Thornton Ltd. Here we supplied 20 of our popular metal Scaffold tables finished in burnished gunmetal grey, each with 1200 x 700 solid ash tops. These have been matched with a mixture of different dining chairs, including French café side chairs, and leather upholstered School and Hackney side chairs. We also supplied two scaffold-style poseur tables, each incorporating power sockets for remote working, with vintage-style School bar stools.
Down one window wall, Andy Thornton supplied banquette seating upholstered in a combination of brown faux leather for the seat and geometric rust-effect wool-blend fabric for the back.
The whole area is illuminated by Andy Thornton industrial-style pendants, suspended by chain from the exposed original timber ceiling. These are painted in a matt black finish with a gold-effect liner, which gives a warm, inviting glow over the dining tables.
At the far end of the rooms is an informal meeting area, where Andy Thornton supplied two large U-shaped lounge seating units, fully upholstered in Sunbury Sauvage brown faux leather.
Said Ben Northrop: “When I took on this project and was briefed to keep the space warm and inviting yet in touch with the building’s industrial heritage, I knew Andy Thornton Ltd was the perfect partner. The company accommodated all our needs and requirements, even when we changed our minds mid-project. Any service issues have been dealt with swiftly and the project cost was more than competitive, particularly given the quality of product. Working with Andy Thornton Ltd has been a real pleasure.”