Thursday, 12 November 2009

Restoration to start at Swansea's historic Guildhall

Work is about to begin on the latest phase in the revival of Swansea's Grade 1 listed Guildhall as vital restoration of the civic building continues.

The Central Block- a more modern addition to the building which celebrated its 75th anniversary this month- will undergo a £4.3 million makeover after a a condition survey identified issues which affect its workable future.

The block was added to the Guildhall complex in the 1970s and has remained largely untouched decades on since its construction.

The Guildhall condition survey in 2005 found the heating and electrics are way beyond their serviceable life span. The building fabric is in poor condition and the roof, internal finishes and toilets are in urgent need of upgrading.

Without work the block would be inadequate to house offices from which the Council provides a range of services for the public.

Work to the Central Block will take place over an 11-month period that will start at the end of November and will involve around 40 craftsmen. It will include rewiring, a new heating system, structural and external repairs and internal finishes.

Offices will be opened up and there will be new flooring and toilets. Re-roofing will also take place and all glazing will be replaced with safety glass.

The work will aim to keep disruption to a minimum and staff normally based in the block are being re-accommodated elsewhere within the Guildhall.

Project manager Huw Thomas of Davies Langdon said: "It has been a great pleasure to be involved in the refurbishment of such a prestigious building. The team has performed an excellent job on the previous phases and we are all very much looking forward to commencing work on the Central Block."

Steve Dinnick, Swansea Council's Head of Corporate Property and Asset Management, said: "The improvements are the latest stage of the £30m project that aims to make the Guildhall a working landmark for generations to come.

"Staff are currently returning to the areas restored through phase two centred around the Municipal Block and the transformation has been widely welcomed.

"The latest work will not only breathe new life into the Central Block and ensure it meets modern regulations but it will also ensure that we have an appropriate base from which to provide services to the community."

Cllr Chris Holley, Swansea Council Leader, said: "The latest phase tackles important issues raised in the condition survey. While this block is less historic, work is needed to ensure The Guildhall is a working building from which we can serve our communities for generations to come."


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