Trafford Town Hall by 5plus Architects

5plus wins contract for Kendal public sector HQ

Neil Tague

Manchester architect 5plus has been selected by three public sector bodies to create plans for the refurbishment and extension of the County Hall building in Kendal into a new public sector hub, a contract worth £200,000.

Over the coming months, the Manchester-based firm will work for Cumbria County Council, South Lakeland District Council and the Lake District National Park Authority to develop the scheme’s content, putting together the brief and scope of the project ahead of the development stage. The practice completed similar work on Cumbria County Council’s recently opened Carlisle office, a project delivered by Eric Wright.

Tony Skipper, the former local head of John McAslan who joined 5plus in June, has worked on the bid with fellow director Paul Norbury.

Skipper told Place North West: “This is a transformational project, a fantastic opportunity to bring three organisations together. It will combine a grade two-listed building with a new riverside building, new public realm and will help these organisations work in more flexible, agile ways.”

Following a strategic review under the “Better Places for Work” programme, the council decided to pursue a new public sector hub office development using the existing county hall and creating new build on vacant land to its rear. Nine tenders were received in total. All three bodies will have their principal operations based at the site.

The redevelopment of Trafford Town Hall, completed in 2013, was the first major project in this field for 5plus, which has since gone on to work with South Tyneside Council, along with bodies such as First Choice Homes in Oldham and Your Housing in Warrington.

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