Manchester Town Hall, Grade I-listed and 140 years old, is a classic example of Victorian municipal grandeur landmark but is showing its age.
While it has been maintained over the years and remains structurally sound, many elements are reaching the end of their natural lifespans. Without significant work to address damage and defects, its condition will deteriorate to the point where it will become unfit for ongoing use and would need to be mothballed, the city council has been advised.
The council held a tender process for contract for its Our Town Hall project. The successful tenderers are:
- Architecture – Purcell
- Structural & civil engineers – Ramboll UK
- Landscape Design – Planit-IE
- Building services & engineering – Ove Arup & Partners
- Quantity surveying – Faithful+Gould.
The works will take place over a seven-year period.
Deputy council leader Bernard Priest said: “The work required to repair and upgrade the Town Hall will demand real expertise and dedication, so we have selected our consultants with great care. We look forward to working with them on this once-in-a-lifetime project, which will secure and enhance the long-term future of Manchester’s treasured civic centrepiece.”
Our Town Hall project director Paul Candelent added: "We were immensely impressed with the quality of the bids across all lots and the passion displayed for the Our Town Hall project and its objectives. We are excited to be moving into the next stage of the project and to be working alongside a first class team."
Survey work conducted since December 2014 has found that electrics, plumbing, heating, ventilation and lift installations in the Town Hall are in poor condition, reflecting their age. As they are embedded in the fabric of the building, replacing them involves significant building works.
The surveys also found that the condition of the building’s stonework, windows and roof is also deteriorating and will require intervention. The Town Hall also suffers from poor insulation and energy efficiency.
More than 54,000 parts of the building fabric need attention, of which 40% require immediate repair or replacement – a figure expected to rise to 85% within five years if no action is taken.