History Centre signs major construction contract


Representatives from the Plymouth History Centre project and Willmott Dixon at the contract signing.

Representatives from the Plymouth History Centre project and Willmott Dixon at the contract signing.

Today is a landmark day for the Plymouth History Centre which has signed a £22.6 million contract with construction and regeneration specialist Willmott Dixon.

The signing of the contract marks a new phase for the project and means that major construction work can now progress.

Willmott Dixon has already completed the enabling works for the History Centre, a task which has involved soft stripping the existing buildings, installing an extensive scaffolding scheme and demolishing some small outbuildings.

Last week the non-listed post-war extension to the rear of the former Central Library was also demolished. A new state-of-the-art extension will be built in its place to house the extensive archive collections from the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, South West Film and Television Archive and South West Image Bank.

Major construction work will begin this summer with completion set for late summer 2019. The fit out of all the buildings will take place from summer 2019.

Councillor Ian Bowyer, Leader for Plymouth City Council said: “This is such an exciting moment for the History Centre and such a huge milestone to have reached. So much hard work has already taken place but now things can really get underway. I’m incredibly proud of the effort from the whole History Centre team so far and extremely pleased that we can now move forward into a whole new exciting phase for this project which is truly going to transform the city’s arts, culture and heritage offer.”

Funding for the History Centre has been secured from a range of significant partners including Plymouth City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, the Coastal Communities Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the University of Plymouth and the Wolfson Foundation. The project is on schedule to open in spring 2020 as part of the city’s Mayflower 400 commemorations.

John Boughton, Deputy Managing Director, Willmott Dixon said: “The Plymouth History Centre is a critical next-step in Willmott Dixon’s growth in the region, forging stronger relationships with the local supply chain and demonstrating our ability to deliver prestigious projects. This amazing new building will showcase both heritage and the visual arts whilst providing a landmark attraction for the city. Our Plymouth team has made an established start and we are looking forward to this next phase of construction, whilst continuing to provide great training and employment opportunities for local people.”

Members of the public can see the progress that’s being made at the History Centre site over the coming months thanks to a series of hard hat tours. To book your place on a tour visit the what’s on section of www.plymhearts.org

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