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Last week, The White Building by Barratt Southern Counties was illuminated in blue as part of the nationwide Clap For Our Carers campaign. The iconic development of apartments in Basingstoke has been shortlisted in the First Time Buyer Readers’ Awards 2020.

A fitting tribute to honour NHS workers, The White Building, has a long history as a Basingstoke medical landmark. The elegant Art Deco building, designed in the 1930s by notable industrial architect Arthur George Porri, was a pharmaceuticals factory for Eli Lilly producing essential medicines until its recent conversion into contemporary apartments by Barratt Southern Counties.

It’s the second time the iconic building has changed colour in a time of crisis. The factory opened during World War 2, producing sterilising tablets and medicines for use by Allied troops. However, as the war progressed, half of the factory was commandeered to build small aeroplane parts, and to improve security the gleaming white exterior was concealed in the camouflage colours of brown and maroon.

Julian Hodder, Managing Director of Barratt Southern Counties, said: “This was the first time since the end of World War 2 that The White Building has been anything other than white. During the war, the colour change was intended to render the building invisible – this time it’s the opposite; we wanted the Basingstoke landmark to shine out across the town as a ray of hope in troubled times, reminding everyone of the vital role played by NHS carers and key workers in this crisis and demonstrating our gratitude.”

Lighting up The White Building is a morale-boosting act of solidarity, and builds on the practical work that Barratt Developments has already been doing to help the NHS – including donating 400 defibrillators from its sites across the UK to St John Ambulance, whose volunteers have been drafted in to support the 999 ambulance service and to work in the emergency Nightingale Hospital in London. Barratt Southern Counties has also contributed to the Royal Surrey County Hospital charity’s Covid-19 emergency appeal. “We all need to work together to beat this virus, and I’m proud that Barratt is able to support and thank those who are on the front lines,” said Julian Hodder.

Mike Shepherd, Director of New Business and Development at VIVID, said: “It’s great to see this iconic local landmark lit up as a sign of support to the NHS and critical workers. It continues to connect so many local people with its history and now as a place to call home for residents of the 96 apartments. The efforts of all frontline workers to help others during this pandemic continues to be truly incredible.”

The White Building closed as a factory in 2007 after becoming surplus to requirements. The Chapel Gate site is being transformed in partnership by VIVID and Barratt Homes and The White Building has been sensitively converted into 96 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with the original period features being maintained and restored, including the elegant sweeping staircases, wood panelling and terrazzo flooring in the lobby.


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