New HQ marks 150th birthday

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A TOP 100 Sheffield City Region company is marking its 150th anniversary by building a brand new, multi-million pound headquarters in Penistone.

The family-owned James Durrans Group was founded in 1863 and supplies carbon-based products to the world’s manufacturing industries.

Durrans operates from four factories in the UK, as well as plants in Germany, China, South Africa and France.

Customers include steelmakers, foundries, glass, refractory and furnace manufacturers.

Durrans also supplies the road, rail and aerospace sectors, power industry, oil and gas producers, telecommunications and utilities companies and chemicals firms.

Products include refractory coatings, milled coal dust, anthracite, metallurgical and petroleum cokes.

Durrans also makes friction products, lubricants and specialist products made from natural and synthetic graphite.

Four years ago the company joined the Star Business Barber Harrison & Platt listing of the Sheffield City Region’s Top 100 companies by turnover, rising from 91st in 2009 to 57th last year.

Durrans has appointed Yorkshire based structural and civil engineering consultancy JPG to provide civil, structural and highway design services for its plan to build a landmark 11,200 sq ft modern headquarters.

Construction of the building, which has a curved roof structure like a rugby ball, is due to be completed in the autumn and has posed a number of challenges.JPG’s David Allwood said: “The proposed building is on a steep sloping site and is partially set below ground. It is complex in that we need to form two levels of basement adjacent to an existing public highway with significant temporary works required to facilitate the building construction.

“No rock is present at a depth reachable with conventional foundations and so a piled foundation solution is required as well as a number of retaining walls for various site levels.

“We will also need to redirect an existing public sewer which currently runs through the site.”

Durrans managing director Chris Durrans said: “Despite site difficulties the consulting team has arrived at a superb concept.

“I am pleased to be working with a local team using locally-sourced building products – as has been the tradition with our historic buildings.”