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Dulux Decorator Centre is helping to transform the Old Magistrates’ Courts in Bristol, to create a hub for young people in the local area. Working with Creative Youth Network – a charity that offers a wide range of support services and activities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Bristol and South Gloucestershire – Dulux Decorator Centre is providing sustainable and durable paint solutions to help turn the Grade II listed building into a space that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Built in 1879, Bristol’s Old Magistrates’ Courts have sat empty for a number of years. As a result, the Grade II listed building was in desperate need of a refresh to bring it back to its former glory and make it a useable space once again.

The refurbishment, which is being led by Creative Youth Network and primary contractor Bray & Slaughter Ltd, will see the old courts (which includes four courtrooms with ornate ceilings and original Victorian cells) transformed into a community hub. It will provide young people with a range of facilities including a café, hotdesking space and more, which will help them on their way to a career in the creative industries.

Martin Hancock, Project Manager at Bray & Slaughter Ltd, explained: “This is a really exciting project – but also one that has posed a number of challenges. The building contains a mixture of substrates including plastered gypsum and lime plaster-based products. As a result, surfaces across the site require different paints and coatings. For example, the external walls are all lime plaster-based and require a breathable paint on the interior to ensure that moisture doesn’t become trapped and cause them to deteriorate. However, the internal walls that are made from plastered gypsum don’t require the same breathability and therefore need a different type of paint.”

Decorating contractor Optimum worked with the Dulux Decorator Centre team to review the specification and ensure that the right paints and coatings were selected for the job. Richard Morgan, Account Manager at Dulux Decorator Centre, said: “The walls containing lime plaster needed a breathable coating that will allow air to pass through without causing the paint to bubble or crack. I spoke to the team at Graphenstone, which has a range of products that are specifically designed for this type of application, and they recommended Grafclean Premium Matt. This is an ecological, breathable, mineral paint that has excellent opacity and coverage, as well as class one durability.”

In addition, to keep the exterior woodwork looking good for years to come, Richard recommended Dulux Trade Weathershield Gloss. It has been specifically developed to give long-lasting, high gloss protection and it provides up to eight-years of weathering durability. It also contains a fungicide to prevent mould growth and help the paint stay cleaner for longer.

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