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Construction firm Beard embarks on multi-million pound renovation of historic Trowbridge Town Hall

Construction firm Beard has started work on the multi-million pound refurbishment and remodelling of the historic Trowbridge Town Hall.

The £7.15 million contract will see Swindon-headquartered Beard transforming the Grade II listed building into an eye catching music hall for live concerts. This will include the demolition of existing offices and workshop spaces, as well as the removal of the suspended ceiling to expose the hall’s impressive vaulted ceiling. This will be paired with a brand new roof installed by Beard.

The remaining floors of the building will also see significant remodelling to create recording studios, offices, performance spaces and breakout rooms which will be open to the public and used by local community groups. In addition, essential repairs and restoration work will take place including the exterior stonework, internal stone archways and exposed timber trusses. The hall’s stained glass windows will also be repaired and retained.

Beard is also tasked with improving access to the building, installing an exterior ramp for disabled users and an internal lift to the new music hall. This will be the largest part of demolition to make space for both the lift shaft and new lift.

The 18-month project will commence this month and is set to complete in 2025, ready to reopen in the summer. With plans to scaffold the entire building, access the roof and manage deliveries, the town hall’s central location presents significant logistical challenges for Beard to overcome.

In preparation, the team at Beard has spent the past six months working closely with the local council, highways and all major stakeholders to minimise disruption and keep the public safe. As part of both its management plan and enabling works package, Beard has engaged with all parties to plan hoardings, suspend one bus stop and relocate another, and rationalise scaffolding to not impact the highways.

Ahead of work beginning, Beard will be setting up hoardings and site boundaries over the course of three nights to avoid disruption to bus services and the local community. One of the suspended stops will also serve as a drop-off point for daytime deliveries.

The team also attended a ‘meet the contractor’ event as part of its engagement with the local community, allowing residents and interested parties to find out more about the project and the measures Beard has put in place.

Jamie Harwood, director at Beard, said: “We are proud to be supporting the Trowbridge community once again and playing our part in safeguarding the future of the historic town hall. We will call upon our expertise in the heritage sector and with complex listed buildings to ensure the town hall will continue to support the community for many more generations to come.

“While the project does present challenges, our team has worked incredibly hard to maintain an open dialogue with all parties to mitigate these and ensure all work can be conducted safely. As a result, we’re confident we can deliver the necessary changes to realise the council’s exciting vision, bringing the quality of construction Beard has become synonymous for over our 130-plus year history.”

Cllr Phil Alford, cabinet member for strategic assets at Wiltshire Council, added: “We are delighted to be working with a renowned local company such as Beard Construction. Their extensive knowledge of working sensitively on historic buildings will ensure the Town Hall remains a landmark community asset for future generations to treasure.”

Beard has completed a number of projects in Trowbridge and the surrounding areas, including the complete refitting of the Grade II listed Mill Building at Trowbridge Museum and the sensitive refurbishment and extension of both the Grade II listed Corsham Mansion and the multi-award-winning Corinium Museum, which has doubled exhibition space and improved visitor facilities.

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