Northumberland Estates




Located in the historic market town of Alnwick, the project at Willowburn Retail Park comprised the construction of 37,405 sq ft retail space.

The retail units included an M&S Food Hall, local Alnwick butchery business Turnbulls and coffee chain Starbucks.

Earthworks & Foundation Solution
As part of the contract we carried out a major cut and fill exercise which took a total of 12 weeks. This involved building-up the levels across half of the site, with excavated material taken from site and engineered back in. This enabled us to reduce the amount of material needed to be taken off site by
13,384m3 and also the amount of imported material we would have needed to make-up the levels on site.

To improve the load bearing capacity in the areas where we had engineered the fill, we installed vibro stone columns as part of the foundation solution coupled with traditional strip and pad foundations and ground bearing slabs.

Sustainable Materials

The superstructure of the M&S Food Hall and Turnbulls consisted of a steel frame with the externals walls comprising facing bricks up to a height of 3.6m with the remainder of the external walls consisting of a structural framing system which was finished with curtain walling to the front elevations and a durable and sustainable timber Accoya Cladding.

The timber cladding was sourced from Forest Stewardship Council certified forests which are managed responsibly and is accredited by the FSC and Cradle to Cradle Gold certified and is the only construction material in the world to achieve C2C Platinum certification for Material Health.

Every cubic meter of FSC certified wood used as a substitute for other materials displaces an average of 1.1 tons CO₂. Added to the 0.9 tons of CO₂ stored, 886 cubic meter of Accoya Cladding used displaced c.975 tons CO₂.

Pre-Fabricated Modular Unit

The Starbucks Drive Thru was a modular unit pre-fabricated off-site with the shell being delivered to site in two sections and was then constructed on-site.

Tolent worked closely with the Starbuck’s fit-out team to enable fit-out works to be carried out while the M&S Food Hall and butchery were under construction.

The Starbucks unit was the first outlet to open in the retail park, with ribbon-cutting duties performed by the Duchess of Northumberland, Mayor Lynda Wearn and pupils from local Shilbottle Primary School.








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