The company’s former premises, the Old Snuff Works on Kendal’s Lowther Street, date back to the 18th century. They have been dormant since Gawith Hoggarth moved its operations to the Mintsfeet Estate in 2009.
Now, the company has submitted a planning application to the local authority to convert the property, located at numbers 25-27, into two residential flats.
Under the plans, the flats are to be built on the first floor. Furthermore, the current derelict offices within the building would be retained, and a small museum dedicated to the Gawith Hoggarth business would be developed on the ground floor of number 27. The intention is then for the remaining ground floor area to be converted into a bistro/restaurant and events venue.
Under a separate planning application approved back in 2019, the building underwent structural repairs and interventions during 2020 to return it to a ‘sound condition’ ahead of the next round of works. The improvements taking place at the Grade II listed building are fully intended to retain many of its original features.
The planning documents stipulate that a lot of the company's manufacturing equipment and machinery has remained at the Lowther Street site, and that Gawith Hoggarth is planning on displaying them for “possible displays or a museum collection.”
Gawith Hoggarth director Chris Gawith [pictured] and the rest of the Gawith family that still owns the building and business have declared that they are pursing a “a positive and sustainable solution for the building for it to continue its role in the life and history of Kendal.”
Meanwhile, Greenlane Archaeology has said in a heritage assessment of the site that it is of historical significance to Kendal and the significance of the building as a heritage asset is to be fiercely safeguarded and many of its original features retained.
The assessment reads: “The site represents an important aspect of Kendal’s history and part of a relatively understudied industry at a national level, with previous consideration largely concerned with the mills in which the snuff was produced, rather than the places where the raw tobacco and snuff were finished, packaged and distributed.
“In general, the proposed alteration works will be designed to have a negligible impact on the heritage significance of the building and its setting. The existing structure and building elements are all to be retained.
“All necessary steps will be taken to safeguard the significance of the heritage asset. The intention is that many original features will be retained and repaired as part of this phase two application thereby retaining the integrity of the historic asset.”