Mark Coates from Hull firm Alan Wood & Partners is the Project Manager on Holy Trinity’s Development Project. In short, it’s Mark’s job to make all the works happen. From liaising with the architect, to setting the budgets and timetables, protecting the heritage, dealing with planning, and eventually tendering and managing all of the contractors, it’s a colossal job, and quite different from many of the buildings Mark works on.
“It’s quite a privilege to work on something like this,” says Mark, gazing towards the roof. “The scale of it: it takes your breath away. You’ve got to take a bit of time to appreciate how fine it is.”
Mark is, in fact, no stranger to ecclesiastical architecture, having worked on a number of churches early in his career; it’s ‘quite exciting’ he says, to get back to this kind of work.
“There are so many facets to the project, blending all the different opinions and views, and coming up with a scheme that everyone can buy into. You start with the detail up front, to deliver the project at the end, and show people we’re doing it right. With lots of projects these days, the detail follows later it’s kind of the reverse.”
“You have to consider the significance of the changes. We’re making history by doing this, just as the Victorians did in the most recent reordering of the church. There is a burden of responsibility with that.”
“You see the potential, the way that the church can be a venue and hopefully attract people for all sorts of events as well as worship.”
How, we ask, will Mark feel when the job is done? “Very proud,” Mark quietly declares, “to be part of something quite so significant; the most historic building in the city, to be part of such a significant reordering; to look back on your career and say ‘I was part of that’, I’ll be very fortunate.”
Softly spoken, calm, utterly professional, and entirely respectful of Holy Trinity’s heritage, our development could not be in safer hands than those of Mark Coates.