News: Powell Williams manages restoration of Grade I listed town hall

Newark Town Hall is to undergo a £600,000 external restoration programme. Scaffolding is being erected to enable specialist craftsmen to access the façade of the landmark Grade I listed building, which was originally built in 1774.

Newark Town Hall

Protecting the building
A sympathetic and sensitive programme of repairs will be carried out on the masonry, roofs, and windows of the elevations overlooking the market place, as well as more general maintenance repairs to protect the building for many years to come. Two highly experienced contractors, Skillingtons Stonemasons of Grantham, and Stamford-based Messenger Construction, have been appointed to carry out the work.

Powell Williams is overseeing the project due to our award-winning expertise in heritage building conservation. Commissioned in 2015 to assess the state of the building by M&M Asset Management, we brought in additional expertise from Skillingtons to help produce a repair strategy for the masonry which has succumbed over the last 243 years to the effects of the British weather.

Specialist skills
Andy Williams, managing partner of Powell Williams and lead consultant on the project, has worked closely with Historic England and the local conservation office to draw up the programme of repairs and appoint the specialist contractors. Andy said:

"I'm pleased that after two years of painstaking research and investigation to determine the condition of the building envelope, the construction team are now in a position to commence repair of this excellent example of Georgian architecture. Adopting the principals of good conservation, with the aim of limiting the loss of historic fabric, the works will involve sympathetic repair of decayed stonework using traditional techniques and locally sourced stone.

As we will already have the access in place, it is sensible to also undertake any necessary repairs to timber windows, roofs and leadwork, as well as external redecoration. We have appointed a skilled team of stonemasons and a contractor highly experienced with heritage buildings who will ensure the repairs are carried out sympathetically, working closely with ourselves and the conservation officer.

The key to protecting an impressive Grade I listed building such as this, is in the preparation and ensuring the right investigations are carried out up front, this has been the scope of the project for the last two years. The challenge now is to carry out repairs while the building is occupied, and the whole team is mindful of minimising the impact on users. We will be maintaining access to the building for workers and visitors throughout, and using sheeting around the scaffolding to reduce the amount of dust and noise created, as well as protecting the façade from the elements during the work. As this is an external restoration, the rooms inside will be unaffected."

The 33-week programme is set to complete by the start of November
Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark Town Council, said: "The Town Council is delighted that this work is going ahead. The Town Hall is the most prestigious building in Newark and it is imperative that it is properly maintained and preserved for future generations to admire.

There will be some disruption to Town Hall and the users of the Market Place while the work is undertaken, but we have been given re-assurance that such impacts will be kept to an absolute minimum.

I am pleased that the contractors appreciate how important it is to keep the Town Hall and the Buttermarket open for business during the project and the Town Council looks forward to working with them to deliver these much needed renovations."

For more information about this project, click here to contact Andy Williams.

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