The Challenge:

The building originally served as an important venue for civic, judicial, community and performance events. The passage of time had resulted in many of the buildings key spaces becoming redundant and subject to insensitive and detrimental repairs over its 130 years.

A key catalyst for the restoration and refurbishment of the town hall was its long overdue need for significant repairs and improvements to its previously tired cosmetics, under-performing services, congested, confusing and inadequate circulation routes and as a requirement to revive the building once again.

The Council had a highly ambitious vision to refurbish the Town Hall to bring it back to its former glory, providing a fit for purpose prestigious venue for the Middlesbrough area.

The Solution:

Throughout the project all efforts were made to preserve, restore or replicate traditional construction techniques within the restoration. Existing stone work was painstakingly repaired, lime plaster was used extensively, roof slates reclaimed and installed in diminishing courses with ornate leadworks, ornate floor tiling repairs, cast iron railings replicated, and the existing maple floors retained, re-sanded and refinished.

Where the use of new materials was required, for example, to improve the functionality of the building to accommodate new sustainable uses, the decision was made to ensure a clear contrast and separation, such that new and old materials complemented each other but did not merge the story of the architecture.

The team also set out and delivered specific numerical targets, covering (among other things) local and unemployed job starts, apprenticeships, graduate training and work placements using the engagement of supply chain employers in the delivery of employment and skills opportunities.

The Impact:

Middlesbrough Town Hall was redesigned with long term sustainability in mind from the start. The client brief and subsequent design development delivered a suite of small, medium and large flexible spaces able to accommodate a wide range of events at both local community and national level. This allows it to generate an income stream, support local community group initiatives and attract economic investment to the area.

Starting with a project that was initially unaffordable, the first engagement with the client was to help them achieve a realistic budget. Achieving this with the help of Kier’s supply chain set the scene for the future working relationship. Through the duration of the project, over 500 variations were encountered on this traditional project. With the outturn costs rising our team negotiated a final account figure which was acceptable to both parties – a great accomplishment for an initial scheme that was initially unaffordable.

" Middlesbrough Town Hall is one of the region’s most important buildings, and this major restoration and refurbishment project has given it a whole new lease of life. Kier’s fantastic work and attention to detail have helped to reveal the true splendour and heritage of this magnificent venue. We now have a venue truly fit for the 21st Century and one I know will delight audiences from near and far. "
Councillor Mick Thompson executive member for culture and communities Middlesborough Council

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