King Street Townhouse Spa & Gym

The King Street Townhouse is a luxury hotel built in 1872 and located on Booth Street in central Manchester. The hotel features a rooftop pool, sundeck and recently refurbished gym and spa. We were approached by EPR Architects who were in charge of the design for the King Street Townhouse Spa and Gym. They were looking for solutions that would be able to combine luxury finishes and provide practical unobtrusive access for less able bodied visitors. The Gym is located on the ground floor with the Spa below in the basement. Due to the age of the building there were split levels on both floors with a set of steps leading from street level into the main gym entrance and two low rise changes of level in the Spa. Traditional access solutions such as inclined platform lifts can take long to operate and can detract from the surrounding finishes.

We worked with EPR through their Stage 3 & 4 design to specify 3 hidden platform lifts for these small changes of level. The benefit of these lifts is that they can be placed in front of the steps and do not take up any space when not in use. This is perfect for entrances and lobbies where there is not space for a traditional platform lifts to the side of the steps. They are incredibly versatile with a number of different on platform, landing or handheld remote controls which ensure that the client gets exactly the operation arrangement they require. 

The other lift of the package is a cabin lift which transports passengers from the ground floor Gym entrance to the Spa below. This cabin lift features 90º adjacent entry with 2 entrances on the ground floor one from the main entrance and one leading directly into the Gym as well as the entrance into the Spa below. This lift features bespoke bronze finishes throughout the cabin with lighter skirting, dark mesh panels and a full length bronze mirror to one side. The passenger lift features 2 types of bespoke swing landing door. The first type which is present on the gym entrances features mirror tinted frameless glass panels with gunmetal grey door frames and full height matte black door handles. The second type found in the Spa features the same mirror tinted frameless glass panel with bronze door frame and full height matte black door handles. Both of these type of doors feature bronze mirror panels on the side facing the cabin.

The lifts package was completed and installed in time for the King Street Townhouse Spa & Gym's opening in July 2022. 

Location: Manchester

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2022

To see projects similar to King Street Townhouse click on the following links:

The Newt in Somerset | Il Borro Tuscan BistroLincoln Cathedral | Leighton House Museum | Devonshire Club | New Bond Street Boutique

The gym entrance to the main lift at King Street Townhouse
The spa entrance at King Street Townhouse
Frameless glass door of the lift at KSTH in Manchester
The gym entrance to the main lift at the KSTH in Manchester
One of the hidden platform lifts in the spa of King Street Townhouse
Hidden wheelchair lift at King Street Townhouse in central Manchester
Hidden platform lift at spa on Booth Street, Manchester
The internal cabin features copper skirting detail and bronze mesh panels as well as a bronze mirror
the lift cabin features a bronze mirror
The main lift entrance leading from the spa at King Street Townhouse

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Cabin Lifts vs Passenger Lifts

Cabin lifts are a type of lift that few people outside of the lift industry know about or would even consider for their project. They are a hybrid solution between a fully enclosed platform lift and a passenger lift. Instead of just a platform moving within a shaft, a cabin lift has a fully built lift car and can come with swing landing doors like a platform lift or fully automatic sliding doors like a passenger lift. This flexibility makes it perfect for low rise solutions where a passenger lift and the enabling works involved with its installation can be expensive.

The glass cabin lift features automatic sliding doors

The cabin lift shares more similarities with the passenger lift compared with a platform lift. The lift has a full lift car that can run inside either a masonry lift shaft or a steel one. The cabin lift only requires a landing push button to be selected once rather than being continuously held down like a platform lift. The cabin lift can come with fully automatic sliding doors so looks and feels exactly the same as a passenger lift that is find in a shopping centre. The main difference between the cabin lift and the passenger lift is that the speed of the cabin lift is rated at 0.15m/s, which some might say is slow but for a typical floor to floor measurement of 2.7 metres, it will only take 18 seconds. 

There are several advantages of using a cabin lift over a passenger lift for a project. Cabin lifts have significantly shallower pits, moreover our cabin lifts have the shallowest pit on the market at only 130mm! In comparison a typical passenger lift pit requires 1100mm, this can be significant especially in basements where excavation and tanking can prove difficult.

Cabin lifts offer a bespoke alternative to passenger lifts
The Base in Greenham features a cabin lift with automatic sliding doors

In addition to the shallower pit, our cabin lifts have lower headroom requirements with a minimum floor to ceiling height of 2150mm. This headroom height is typically lower than most ceilings therefore adding a cabin lift into an existing structure is significantly easier. In comparison a passenger lift typically requires a minimum of 3400mm above the finished floor level which can impact floors above or limits the location of a lift. 

As well as less shaft space vertically, a cabin lift’s drive mechanisms are significantly slimmer than a traditional passenger lift. With only 300-350mm taken up instead of 550mm you get more lift car for your lift shaft which means less impact on any surrounding rooms and the overall fit out design of a project. Furthermore our cabin lifts only require fixing points on one side with both guides therefore we can achieve entry points on up to 3 sides of the lift. Several passenger lift manufacturers simply cannot offer this option. 

Lift in a stairwell in Highcliffe
Cabin lift with automatic doos which makes it look like a regular passenger lift

You might be thinking that with less space requirements there would be a downgrade in quality or reliability. This is simply not the case! We are able to offer a wide range of both standard and premium finishes as well as a bespoke finishes service for luxury projects using some of the most well known stainless steel providers from around the world. Our bespoke finishes schedule is not exclusive to just the interior of the lift, we offer both custom made swing landing and automatic sliding doors. Bespoke finishes from previous projects can be provided upon request. 

Finally, and probably the most important difference between a cabin lift and a passenger lift is cost. The cabin lift itself is significantly more affordable and with less extensive enabling works required, builders costs are cheaper too. This makes a cabin lift the perfect solution for low rise vertical solutions. 

Click here to download our cabin lifts brochure!

Lincoln Cathedral

We were approached by Simpson & Brown who were appointed principal designers for the refurbishment and construction of brand new facilities at Lincoln Cathedral. Lincoln Cathedral, consecrated in 1092, is located in the very heart of Lincoln and was once the tallest building in the world till its central spire collapsed in 1548. The Cathedral had recently won £16m in Heritage Lottery Fund to create the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project. This project would include a complete modernisation and refurbishment of parts of the cathedral with the introduction of a brand new education centre, café, shop and community spaces. Due to the nature of the building, level access was not possible across all of these additions therefore a variety of lifts were needed to make the site fully accessible. William Birch Construction were appointed Principal Contractor and we worked with them to deliver this lift package. 

The first lift is a hidden traversing lift in the main reception area, the lift raises 350mm and traverses 480mm to meet the top step. This hidden lift features 100mm high roll off protection so that the user remains on the platform and finishes flush with the floor. It can be finished in any flooring up to a depth of 22mm which makes the platform run seamlessly into the rest of the floor. The lift is finished with remote controls so that a member of staff can raise the lift when a visitor needs to use it. The pit requirement for this lift is only 155mm.

The second lift is a cabin lift with fully automatic sliding doors, the same as a traditional passenger lift. The major difference between this lift and a passenger lift is that the pit and headroom requirement is considerably reduced. A passenger lift would require over a metre pit and 3400mm headroom whilst this lift requires only 130mm pit and 2150mm headroom. Due to the historic and archaeological nature of the site all 4 lift options were chosen with the shallowest pit depth possible. This lift provides access across two floors of the newly constructed education centre. 

The third lift is an outdoor platform lift that allows access to the courtyard area with a travel of 700mm and is finished with the same wooden decking as the upper level and adjacent stairwell. The lift is made out of hot-dipped galvanised steel which is then powder-coated to provide a finish that will last over time. This means that the less maintenance costs are greatly reduced and the courtyard is accessible for longer. 

The fourth lift provides access to the exhibition area of the centre and only needs a pit of 65mm. The lift has a modern look with reduced steel framework and large glass panels which match the contemporary aesthetic within the exhibition centre. We colour matched the adjacent stairwell so that the lift was finished in the same shade of black. 

Location: Lincolnshire

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2020

To see projects similar to Lincoln Cathedral click on the following links:

British Library | York Theatre Royal | Dancing Man Brewery | National Army Museum | Meriden Hall | Sissinghurst Castle Garden | 200 Grays Inn Road

Traversing lift at Lincoln Cathedral
Hidden lift raising at Lincoln Cathedral
The traversing lift at Lincoln Cathedral has fully extended to meet the top step
A side on view of the hidden step lift at Lincoln Cathedral
The lift features automatic sliding doors like a traditional passenger lift but only requires 150mm pit and 2150mm headroom
The upper landing of the passenger lift in Lincoln Cathedral
The cabin lift at Lincoln Cathedral
On the ground lift the lift's lentrance is finished with an elaborate architrave
The lift features LED spotlights as well as a half height mirror and handrail to the rear of the cabin
The outdoor platform lift provides access to the courtyard area of Lincoln Cathedral
Internal platform lift at Lincoln Cathedral
External platform lift at Lincoln Cathedral

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Chelsea Flower Show 2019

The Chelsea Flower Show is the key event in the horticultural calendar and one of, if not, the most famous flower and garden show in the world. It attracts over 150,000 visitors  including members of the Royal Family as well as celebrities. This year the Duchess of Cambridge has designed a back-to-nature garden whilst the charity that the Duchess of Sussex supports, Camfed, won a gold medal. The Show takes places on the 11 acre land of the Chelsea Royal Hospital, on the Chelsea Embankment. In just 25 days the site transforms from lawn and gravel pathways to an amass of colour with gardens surrounding the main pavilion.

We were approached by representatives of the Greenfingers Charity and Kate Gould Gardens who were creating an accessible garden for the Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Greenfingers is a charity that creates outdoor spaces for a number of children hospices. Since their inception they've created 55 gardens across the country. Their gardens include space where children can play as well as sensory gardens where they can relax and have therapeutic rest. The Charity needed a garden that would be accessible and would include interactive features for children.

Location: London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2019

Access lift at The Greenfingers Charity Garden by Kate Gould
The Greenfingers Charity Garden designed by Kate Gould Gardens

Kate was tasked with designing and bringing the concept to life. Kate is a Chelsea gold medal-winning garden designer, however this was her first show garden on the main avenue. The garden would feature an accessible ramp to the lower floor with interactive items throughout the lower level. From the original concept Kate wanted an upper level where visitors could find a new perspective on the garden therefore she needed a way of visitors reaching the upper deck. The original concept of the garden included a water lift. A water lift uses a pump to transfer water into two weights which would then cause the lift to ascend. The concept behind a water lift is incredible however it brings its own unique set of challenges. These are whether it can meet modern health and safety regulation and whether it will stand up to the constant use that the Show demands. After several consultations between Kate Gould Gardens, Access Lifts and independent lift consultants the result was that it would be too challenging to include the water lift design in the garden.

The lift in the Greenfingers Charity Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019
The first garden at RHS Chelsea to feature a disabled access lift

The Greenfingers Charity Garden would be the first garden in the Show's history to feature a lift. The lift is an open platform that travels 2.8 metres to the upper deck, enclosed by a fully glazed shaft. The lift didn't require a pit so there is a small ramp on the platform. At Kate's request the lift was sprayed Emerald Green (RAL 6001). When we first saw the lift after it had been sprayed we thought that it could be too much. However once installed the lift blended perfectly into the lush garden. The whole garden was completed within the 25 day limit. Once the Chelsea Flower Show 2019 officially opened, the garden (and lift) was in constant use. The Monday of the Show, reserved for the press and VIPs, saw many celebrities inspecting the garden and using the lift to get to the upper deck. Much of the BBC's coverage took place on the upper level of the garden due to its viewpoint over a large proportion of main avenue. On Tuesday Kate was awarded a silver-gilt medal for her effort. An incredible achievement for the first garden at RHS Chelsea with a lift.

The Greenfingers Charity Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

The Newt in Somerset

Hadspen House was built in the late 17th century and is situated in East Somerset. The Grade II* listed building has undergone many transformations in its time and now the main house as well as the surrounding outbuildings and lodges have been renovated into a luxury country hotel. The Newt in Somerset boasts 35 rooms from converted stable blocks to a loft in the main house. In addition to the rooms, there are a number of other attractions on the estate. The spa is located a short walk up the driveway from the main house. It features various treatment rooms, a pool and even a mud chamber. The restaurant, attached to the main house, features a complete sloped glass ceiling combining the original Georgian house with state of the art modern style. It serves food from their kitchen garden which you can see while enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner. They even produce venison from the estate's deer park, making sure as much produce as possible is gathered from the local area. The estate also features 3000 strong apple tree orchards with its very own cider press where guests can see the whole process from pressing the apples to enjoying the cider. 

The client needed two lifts for The Newt in Somerset, the first a goods lift which would be used to ferry items from the kitchen on the ground floor up into the rest of the hotel as well as take deliveries. This one tonne goods lift was finished with brushed stainless steel walls and ceilings to match the kitchen surfaces. The second, an antique passenger lift that would provide access for guests across the 3 floors of the hotel. The client had a very specific vision having purchased the stripped down panelling of a 19th century mahogany lift from an antique shop. They wanted a lift that would be befitting of the hotel and vice versa. Our task was to use as much of the original materials as possible whilst adapting the panelling into a completely new lift layout. The antique panelling was then fitted onto a modern hydraulic lift. We even managed to keep the original operating instructions, original brass push buttons, original green leather seat and the 19th century brass R. Waygood & Co sign. 

Below are a number of photos of the antique passenger lift at The Newt in Somerset.

Location: Somerset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2019

To see projects similar to The Newt in Somerset as well as other projects in listed buildings click on the following links:

British Library | York Theatre Royal | Dancing Man Brewery | National Theatre | Meriden Hall | Sissinghurst Castle Garden | Hotel du Vin Poole

The driveway leading up to the main house at The Newt in Somerset
The main house at The Newt in Somerset
Interior of the antique lift in The Newt in Somerset
The antique passenger lift on the first floor of the The Newt in Somerset

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

R. Waygood & Co brass threshold plate
Mirrored light-box in the antique passenger lift
Instructions for operating the lift

Marine Platform Lift for Ribs

Making boats accessible has proven difficult in the past, in particular smaller and private vessels. The main challenges that these projects face are: 1. function 2. materials 3. aesthetics. Our marine platform lifts look to tackle these challenges and create products that stand up to the hostile marine environment and look great.

Nowadays most platform lifts work perfectly fine (on land) however couple that with the motion of the tide or swell and being fixed into a glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) boat hull they can quickly become ineffective. The greatest challenge that marine lifts face is seawater. If a product is not designed with this in mind corrosion and pitting corrosion can cause complete product failure. That's why every part and material we use is researched in order to see how it copes in a saltwater environment as well as how they interact with each other over time. All steelwork for our marine platform lifts is made out of 316L marine-grade stainless steel, this prevents rusting over time and allows our products to withstand the harsh saltwater environment. Depending on the likelihood of coming into contact with saltwater, the metalwork can undergo a range of metal treatments on top of being made out of marine-grade stainless steel. For example if a boat is a leisure cruiser on a freshwater body such as a lake then the likelihood of rusting is greatly reduced compared to a high speed rib that's going to be used at sea. For this particular project, the lift underwent a number of metal treatments due to the location of the lift at the front of the boat and the type of boat. The high speed nature of the rib would lead to more saltwater breaking over the hull and coming into contact with the lift. 

We tailor make all of our marine platform lifts to the client's specifications, this includes the look and finishes used on the lift. For ribs and speedboats original teak decking can be used so that the lift blends into the rest of the deck. A number of metal finishes are available for any exposed metalwork including mirrored finishes as seen on the detachable handrails for this project. We also use rubber and neoprene for safety edges and protective borders to prevent scratching of both the lift and boat.

This project was similar in design to our previous project for a speedboat (you can view that project by clicking here) however it posed a number of unique challenges. As the boat was a rib, any lift would have to be considerably lighter so not to weigh it down and affect overall performance. The position of the lift at the front of the boat could affect the drive of the boat, particularly at high speed and with very little room to work in the lift would have to be fixed to the GRP hull rather than structural steelwork. 

We also created a bespoke ramp that changes into steps when needed. This allows any wheelchair users as well as other guests to easily board and disembark the rib. Both parts, the marine platform lift and ramp were finished with teak (as seen in the video and photos below) to match the rest of the deck and create a beautifully finished product.

Location: Hampshire & Côte d'Azur

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2018

Marine Platform Lift Extended
Marine Platform Lift in Decking
Marine Platform Lift for Ribs
Ramps to Steps Extended
Marine Platform Lift

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Winter Weather & Accessibility

At the moment we're enjoying some unseasonable and fairly mild weather, particularly in the South West. I believe that it might be the calm before the storm and we could be in for a very harsh Winter. Mother Nature might try to redress the balance after such a sunshine-filled summer. We experienced one of the coldest Winters in recent years last year, with heavy snowfall even on the South Coast where we're based. As lovely as seeing towns and villages blanketed in snow can be, it can also cause great disruption and monumental accessibility problems.

Hot and cold, fire and ice, accessibility and Winter weather. All words that contradict each other. When snow gradually turns to ice, the risk of injury, particularly for those that are vulnerable in society, dramatically increases. Roads and pavements become icy and slippery, a simple 5 minute walk to the shops can become an hour's trek and falling over becomes more prevalent. Winter weather can be heavenly for some... but it can also be hellish for others.

Ice is the major problem we face, it can appear suddenly overnight covering whole areas. Ice can make it increasingly difficult for elderly and disabled people to get out of the house as garden pathways and driveways become slippery. 24.5% of people living in the South West are 65+ years old. In our local area of East Dorset the figure rises to 31%. The risk of injury is too great for some, with people opting to stay in their homes rather than venturing out. A few hours can turn into a few days and a few days can turn into a couple of weeks. The inaccessibility of a garden path can lead to days of isolation. Loneliness is a huge problem during the Winter months, particularly amongst the elderly and disabled people. The lack of large support networks can only compound the effect. If you're a relative, a friend or even a neighbour of an elderly or disabled person make sure to visit them this Winter. A few hours of your time can make someone's day or even their week. Small things such as helping with the shopping, clearing a driveway or de-icing a car windshield all make a huge difference. If this Winter is particularly harsh look out for those people who may need an extra helping hand.

Accessibility can be difficult with roads becoming blocked by snow and ice
Winter weather can lead to poor accessibility in some areas

To see the type of lifts we offer for home & garden click here

York Theatre Royal

We were approached by the architect, De Matos Ryan, who were designing the refurbishment of the Grade II listed York Theatre Royal. A grand building that is the centre of York's arts scene. The theatre is located in the centre of York in the shadow of the minster. The £6 million refurbishment included completely redesigning the social spaces outside of the main theatre buildings. Within these works, the client needed two lifts, a main lift to access the four floors of the building as well as a platform lift to link the main lobby area with the café. We worked with the principal contractor, William Birch & Sons, to deliver this project. We are currently working with William Birch & Sons to deliver 4 different lifts at Lincoln Cathedral whilst we have worked with De Matos Ryan at the British Library and in the refurbishment of private homes in some of London and the South East's premium locations. 

Due to the nature of the building there were certain limitations with regards to the design of the lift. There were a number of stone features that could not be touched or changed.  The redesign of the theatre meant that there were a number of balconies and mezzanine floors with 4 different floor levels across around 5 metres of travel. The lift itself has 3 different access points so that all of these mezzanine levels could be accessed. The lift was finished in glass and brushed stainless steel to add a modern contrast to the more traditional limestone features surrounding it. The prominence of glass on the lift allows light to flood down the shaft into what is a fairly dark area which has little natural light sources. All the doors of the lift were automatic two-panel glass doors with brushed stainless steel frames. This compliments the modern aesthetic of the lift and allows the easiest and quickest access for all users. The lift is compliant with Part M with a 1100mm wide x 1400mm deep cabin and a horizontal control panel making it easier to use for wheelchair users. 

The second lift is an open platform lift which links the main lobby area to the newly refurbished café adjacent to the main spiral staircase. The lift is finished with glass panels within a black steel frame, this gives a modern sleek appearance with simple constant pressure controls. 

Location: Yorkshire

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2016

To see projects similar to the lifts at the York Theatre Royal clicking on the following links:

British Library | Meriden HallNational Army Museum | Venture House | Baltic Mill | The Swan at Streatley | Wagamama Wigmore Street

The entrance at York Theatre Royal
The main lift at York Theatre Royal
Outside façade of the York Theatre Royal
Main lift in the lobby at York Theatre Royal
Inner lobby area of the York Theatre Royal
Third floor of the main lift at York Theatre Royal
Internal cabin of the glass lift at York Theatre Royal
Glass and stainless steel lift in the York Theatre Royal
Upper landing of the platform lift at York Theatre Royal
Platform lift linking the lobby with the main cafe
Open platform lift providing access to the main cafe at York Theatre Royal

For more information about lifts like the ones above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Home Lift in External Glass Lift Shaft in Branksome Park

We were approached by a private client in the Branksome Park area of Poole who wanted to install a home lift with an external structure attached to the side of his house. The lift would help both him and his wife travelling floor to floor but would also future proof his home. He wanted a modern style to match the newly built house with glass being a prominent feature of his overall idea.

We measured and designed a lift and external structure that would be adjacent to the house with 3 points of entry all on the same side of the lift shaft. We fitted an EP Elfo with cabin dimensions of 1100mm x 830mm which travelled a distance of over 6 metres across 3 floors in its own lift shaft. The steel structure was painted dark grey and was then finished with smoked glass on the 3 external sides. The presence of a majority glass lift structure matched the modern aesthetics of the building and the addition of the smoked effect lends itself to privacy when using the lift. The lift was fitted with 3 triple glazed swing landing doors so that both the house and the lift shaft remained warm with no draughts or loss of heat. To ensure that the lift was warm and comfortable to use even in the winter months or at night we fitted a small heater so that the lift shaft would be a pleasant temperature.

Location: Dorset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2015

To see projects similar to this lift in Branksome Park click on the following links:

Bexhill-on-Sea | Mayfair | Highcliffe | Whitecliff | Westbourne | Weymouth | South Croydon | St John’s Wood | Bosham | Torquay

External Home Lift in Branksome Park
Home Lift with Frosted Glass Doors
External Glass Lift Shaft
Glass Home Lift in Poole - 1st Floor
Smoked Glass External Lift Structure

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

SwingOn by Access Lifts

We are proud to introduce a new exciting disabled access solution. SwingOn is a genuine alternative to conventional disability ramps, outside stairlifts and inclined platform lifts. It is an innovative design that allows easy disabled access up to a maximum height of 500mm. SwingOn has the advantage against conventional disability ramps and inclined platform lifts. This is because it takes up a fraction of the space of ramps and platform lifts. UK Building Regulations state a disability ramp has to have a maximum gradient of 1 in 12 for a total rise of 166mm rising to a maximum gradient of 1 in 20 for a total rise of 500mm. This means that for a 500mm rise from the pavement to the top of the steps you will have to build a ramp that is 10 metres long. This coupled with the ramp's 1.5 metres width means the total area is at least 15m2. This can be inviable and impractical therefore the best option is SwingOn.

SwingOn features a telescopic platform that can measure between 830mm - 1400mm in length and 700mm in width. This means it can accommodate a variety of  different wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Its safe working load is rated at 300kg which means it can lift even the heaviest of electric scooters.

SwingOn is easy to install, taking only 1-2 to fit, with a simple plug and play connector so it can be used straightaway. It is easy to use and even easier to pack away, the compact design allows for it to be stored against a wall neatly. It comes in a number of colours so it can seemingly blend into its surroundings. SwingOn is made to last! All components are tested to European Standards to resist both hot and cold temperatures as well as high humidity levels.

And the best thing about SwingOn? It's affordable!

To see some of our commercial projects click on the following links: Venture House, Telefonica Digital, Seven Dials, National Army Museum, Southwark Council and Chiswell Street

To see some of our residential projects click on the following links: Witchampton, Chichester, Bosham, Whitecliff, Mayfair and St John's Wood.