DIY SOS: The Grenfell Project – North Kensington, London

Premier Lift Group was honoured to be able to support this project at Grenfell, in conjunction with DIY SOS, the BBC’s flagship renovation programme. ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’ enlists the help of local volunteers and construction companies to undertake projects that benefit communities in need. On this occasion, the community involved was that which was devastated by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The aim of this project was to build a new community centre and sports club, replacing a centre formerly situated on the second floor of Grenfell Tower. The boxing club has been an integral part of the community for many years but was left without a permanent base. In 2018, DIY SOS contacted local volunteers, engineers, architects and construction companies to assist in this very worthwhile operation.

The DIY SOS team had just a few short weeks to create an interesting, inclusive, flexible space to support young and old. It would include a boxing gym, cafe area, support rooms and areas for young people to relax and chill out. The lift was a crucial element for elderly community members – and you’ll see the show talk about the local Domino Club, who had lost their meet up space because of the Grenfell fire.

The Brief

DIY SOS first approached Premier Lift Group late in the overall project having received a referral from a consultancy contact of the company. Premier Lift Group’s CEO was born and raised in London, and he was particularly keen to do something to give back to the community of Grenfell. Premier was more than happy to supply, install and commission a new lift for the project.

The brief was simple but nonetheless challenging. DIY SOS required a quality lift that could fit within the existing site constraints. Also, due to the nature of the programme’s premise and television schedule, the project had to be delivered to tight deadlines.

The Solution

Premier Lift Group decided to put forward the new K-Motion lift. This exceptional platform lift was designed in conjunction with industry partner Gruppo Millepiani. This Italian company is a well-recognised name in the design and manufacture of luxurious elevators, a company with which Premier Lift Group has an exclusive partnership.

Premier’s architects believed the K-Motion to be the ideal solution for the Grenfell project as a low headroom solution. The Grenfell Project architect in charge of the overall project was also keen on a passenger lift style with automatic sliding doors and contemporary lift cabin finishes. These specifications definitely fit with the K-Motion lift.

An initial inspection was followed by a design briefing to ensure that this solution would fit in with the overall plan. It was originally thought that, due to steel-work placement, that installation of the K-Motion would not be possible. However, once it was clear that the steel was outside of the shaft zone, thus facilitating the minimum of 2450mm needed for headroom, the inclusion of the K-Motion lift was confirmed. Premier Lift Group, like so many of the suppliers, volunteers and staff – was pleased to be able to offer their support free of charge.


There were a number of key challenges in delivering the K-Motion lift for the Grenfell Tower project. As mentioned previously, the show required swift action with tight deadlines. This put pressure on the shipping and delivery of the lift. Timescales from appointment, ordering equipment and organising labour required absolute efficiency in their delivery.

Although there were obvious challenges, Premier Lift Group managed to manufacture and ship the K-Motion lift in record time. Within a matter of a few weeks, the lift was delivered in line with tight deadlines.

Another challenge was working with all the other teams on site. Many local organisations altruistically agreed to take part in the DIY SOS project. This meant that a blend of operations were working at close proximity, all with incredibly tight deadlines of their own. All trades were keen to help and there was a real sense of purpose from all involved. The motivation and commitment from the multitude of teams on site was unquestionable, however, the unique nature of the project created new challenges. Overcoming these challenges was integral to the success of this installation and all credit to everyone involved in realising this substantive achievement.

For Premier Lift Group, and for the successful execution of this project, it was imperative to be proactive, flexible and in line with the site’s expectations. Thanks to monumental effort from all involved in the Grenfell project, the installation of the K-Motion lift was delivered in an incredibly efficient manner. When you do include all considerations, DIY SOS pulled off something really special.

This project was a privilege for Premier Lift Group to be a part of and a testament to all the volunteers involved.


Watch The Full Episode Online

You can watch the full episode on BBC iPlayer by clicking the link Here. To get a sense of the immense effort and tremendous work put in by all involved, check out the DIY SOS: Grenfell Trailer below.