Flexcrete products have an excellent track record of restoring historic buildings and structures and one of our latest projects has involved the renovation of King’s Gardens, a historic 17-acre garden and park located on Southport’s promenade.
A busy tourist attraction all year round, King’s Gardens was first developed in 1887 to provide a recreational area for residents and visitors to Southport, Merseyside. The gardens, which comprise an ornamental lake with a Venetian style bridge, shelters and pathways, have been added to English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest.
In 2012, the gardens were awarded £5.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sefton Council as part of the ‘Parks for People Programme.’ This prestigious scheme is the largest single investment in parks by the Heritage Lottery Fund in the North West. The restoration included repair and protection of the Venetian Bridge, as the reinforcement in the bridge beams and columns had become exposed over time and had badly corroded, necessitating repairs to the steel and concrete. The bridge cap piers also needed re-profiling and protecting with an anti-carbonation coating. In addition, repairs were required to the lakeside retaining wall, balustrades, steps and other areas.
A number of Flexcrete products were used for this prestigious project on the basis of their ease of application, safe use and backing with relevant accreditation such as CE marking. Flexcrete products are water-based and release no strong odour or hazardous solvents during application, which was an important factor as the gardens remained open to the public throughout the restoration work.
On the Venetian Bridge, the beams and columns were broken back to sound concrete and Steel Reinforcement Protector 841 was applied to the re-bars once cleaned back to shiny metal. The areas were then repaired with Monomix, an engineering grade structural mortar. Application contractor GJN & Son carefully finished the Monomix with a brush to match the existing finish. The bridge pier caps were also restored with Monomix and overcoated with Monodex Smooth, a high build, decorative anti-carbonation coating which provides protection for at least 15 years. Crack repairs were carried out on the lakeside retaining wall using Monomix and Monolevel FC, a fairing coat for filling blow holes, defects and surface imperfections. GJN & Son meticulously combined Monomix and Monolevel FC to achieve an exact colour match to the existing concrete, ensuring a sympathetic repair. Over 350 linear metres of repairs were carried out on the lakeside wall. GJN & Son also carried out colour matched repairs on the exposed aggregate balustrading and copings, using Monolevel FC combined with fine chippings to match the existing aggregate. The main contractor for the restoration work was Casey Group.