ISG is preferred contractor for a £6.1million project to restore and conserve the historic Grade II listed Town Hall in Wigan, Greater Manchester, and remodel the interior space to create a more practical, efficient and modern working environment for council staff. The project was procured via the influential North West Construction Hub (NWCH) framework.
The scheme will commence in November and sees ISG unveil some of the Victorian Town Hall’s original features for the first time since they were concealed by modifications to the interior carried out in the 1970s. The four-storey building is currently configured as cellularised offices and meeting spaces, and ISG will transform the internal layout to provide open plan work spaces in support of the council’s ‘Agile Working’ strategy.
Donna Hall, chief executive of Wigan Council, explained:
“The Agile Working strategy was developed in response to the government’s budget reductions, it will allow for a better, more efficient way of working.
“Operating from fewer buildings, staff will hot desk, job share and work from home, promoting a more flexible and joined-up approach to working. This way we’ll be able to make the savings needed, while working more effectively.”
Restoration of existing historic features will include the removal of false ceilings to reveal ornate cornices, conservation of parquet flooring and elm floorboards and sensitive removal of plaster finishes on the walls to expose decorative Victorian tiling and brickwork. ISG will create a new reception area on the ground floor, where original stained glass windows will be revealed to enhance the visual appearance of the foyer. Externally, the company will also carry out repairs to the roof, chimneys and windows, working with English Heritage throughout the project to ensure that all restoration elements are carried out sensitively and in full compliance with listed building requirements.
Delivering a full turnkey solution at the Town Hall, ISG will also install new mechanical and electrical services, with an upgrade to data provision to aid multi-channel service access and enable flexible working. To deliver cost efficiencies, ISG will re-use the building’s existing boilers and radiators, installing new pipework throughout, while enhancing the Town Hall’s energy and environmental performance through the use of natural ventilation and the installation of energy efficient lighting. The project includes the delivery of all interior finishes and furniture, with ISG re-using some existing furniture to drive best value through the scheme.
Andy Mallice, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, commented:
“This challenging project will help to restore and safeguard the future for this iconic regional building. The scheme is an exciting blend of traditional building conservation and contemporary office planning, with a state-of-the-art service installation and a focus on reducing overall running costs and delivering a building that better serves the local community.
“A key element of the project is the opportunity it gives us to support and invest in the local economy, and this means that we will be actively looking to locally source materials and the workforce required to deliver the scheme. We are also committed to providing a long-lasting legacy within the communities where we work, and will be forging links with local colleges and apprenticeship providers to create a range of training opportunities for local residents throughout the duration of the redevelopment.”
Donna Hall, added:
“We were extremely impressed with the level of ISG’s experience and as such, we are confident that they will be able to deliver this challenging refurbishment. I look forward to seeing the plans turn into reality.”