Coventry Scaffolding looks back at the redevelopment of St Pancras Station


With the 2024 Olympics in Paris set to begin later this month, we’re reminded of our scaffolding project at St Pancras Station and St Pancras Renaissance Hotel back in 2005. It’s hard to believe that it is nearly two decades since we erected scaffolding to allow for the refurbishment work to take place on the iconic building.

While the station has been operational since 1868, the attached hotel has a more complicated history. Opened in 1876 as The Midland Grand, the building was expensive and extravagant, featuring a grand staircase, rooms with gold leaf walls, and a fireplace in every room.

After becoming run down and costly to maintain, the hotel was eventually closed in 1935 and became offices for the railway until the 1980s. Although there were plans for it to be demolished, thanks to a high-profile campaign by the Victorian Society, the building was saved and received protected Grade I heritage listed status in 1967.

The structure underwent a major refurbishment in the 1990s but remained empty until 2004, when planning permission was granted for it to be redeveloped as a 244-room hotel, with 68 private apartments on the original upper floors. As part of the redevelopment, the main public rooms of the old Midland Grand were restored, including the iconic staircase, along with some of the bedrooms. 

Due to its impressive interiors, the hotel has been used as a filming location many times over the years. Perhaps most famously, it was the set of the Spice Girls’ music video ‘Wannabe’, which prominently featured the grand staircase. It has also featured in Richard III, Batman Begins, and several of the Harry Potter films.  

When we erected scaffolding on the building back in 2005, London was in the middle of bidding for the 2012 Olympics. The scaffolding was even adorned with a ‘Back the Bid’ poster, featuring Paralympian basketball player, Ade Adepitan alongside Nelson’s Column – a monument we have a special connection to, having erected the scaffolding to facilitate its first major clean in 1968.

Today, St Pancras Station is where the Eurostar terminal is located, and is set to be a major transport hub for those travelling from the UK to Paris for the Olympics this month.

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