Donald Insall Associates has been appointed as architect on the £16m redevelopment of Rochdale’s grade one-listed town hall.
Projects that the firm has worked on in a similar field include work on the Houses of Parliament, Manchester’s John Rylands Library and the Women’s Suffrage Memorial in Parliament Square.
The professional team also includes Gillespies as landscape architect, building services engineer Max Fordham, structural engineer Price & Myers and cost manager Frank Whittle Partnership.
The University of Salford’s Centre for Applied Archaeology is engaged on 3D scanning and metric survey, Link4Life is working on activity planning, and Focus Consultants and L&R Consulting on business planning. Redman Design is to work on exhibition and interpretive design.
Rochdale’s project has successfully bid for round one funding support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, securing £8.9m.
The project, due for completion in 2023, will restore various historic features at the Gothic landmark, including the Magna Carta mural and ceiling panels in the Great Hall, along with stained glass windows.
The old library on the first floor, which was more recently used as office space, will also be restored and reopened for community use as the new Bright Hall, in honour of prominent industrialists and radical politicians, the Bright family. A series of access improvements, including new lifts and toilets, will be made.
Cllr John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The town hall is a place of majesty and beauty, which is renowned across the country. For that reason, we set the bar extremely high when selecting specialists to lead its restoration. A building so special needs the absolute best and we’re confident we’ve got the calibre here to make this critical project a huge success.”
Tony Barton, chairman of Donald Insall Associates, said: “Rochdale Town Hall is one of our great, internationally important civic buildings which has served the people of the borough for 150 years. Our team is proud to have been selected to help deliver this important project to provide a world class focus for residents and visitors as part of the council’s on going transformation of the area.”
The appointment comes weeks after Gillespies was appointed to lead the £3m redesign of Town Hall Square.