Faithful+Gould is acting as project manager and planning supervisor on the project which involves the renovation of the Grade II* listed timber-framed structure. The building has been high on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register – a list of 1,430 of the nation’s most vulnerable grade I and II* buildings and monuments.
Tewkesbury Borough Council plans to relocate the town’s existing tourist information centre into the ground floor of the completed building and will use a diverse combination of interpretation techniques to bring the history of the Hat Shop to life. On completion the Centre will link with other attractions and provide a central hub to encourage local people and visitors to explore the rich and varied heritage of the area.
Building restoration costs are anticipated to be in the region of £1.4m with a further £400,000 invested in the interpretation and fit-out of the building.
Stephen Crichton, from the Birmingham-based Faithful+Gould team managing the work said: "The building contract poses a number of challenges in that it involves major renovation works within a busy street with limited access and party wall issues. However, it has been great to have been involved in the preservation of such a striking and important building."
Due to the complexity of the project the team involves a number of specialist consultants including paint specialists and historic building consultants who have worked in an advisory capacity throughout the development of the project.
All existing materials are to be retained and reused where possible under close supervision and monitoring by the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and Tewkesbury Borough Council conservation officers. Initial investigations uncovered paint decoration dating back to the 17th century which will now be preserved to form part of the interpretation of the building.
The project has been successful in attracting external funding with £1,339,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £245,000 from English Heritage and £40,000 from ERDF (European) funding. The project is also receiving financial support from Tewkesbury Borough Council and Tewkesbury Town Council.
The project is due for completion in 2007.