The construction firm has been awarded the £12m contract to restore Auckland Castle to its original Georgian gothic opulence on behalf of regional charity Auckland Castle Trust.
The contract includes the extension of the castle’s Scotland wing to house a new Faith Museum.
The restoration is being supported by the National Lottery through an £11.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as Sir James Knott Trust, the Charles Hayward Foundation, the Headley Trust, the Linbury Trust, the Rothschild Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust and the Overstone Fund.
“We are delighted to have won this prestigious contract and are now looking at ways in which we can involve the local community and maximise the opportunities we can offer them while working in Bishop Auckland,” said Dave Meldrum, managing director of Meldrum Construction Services.
Around half of Meldrum’s 190 employees will be working on the development with the construction firm working alongside overall project managers Turner & Townsend.
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“The restoration of Auckland Castle is a significant project for us, incorporating both a wide range of repairs, replacements and redecoration to the existing castle, and the construction of an extension to create contemporary gallery space,” said Geoff Brown, area manager for Turner & Townsend.
“We will be working closely with Meldrum, Purcell and Auckland Castle Trust’s curatorial team to ensure this is all carried out in-keeping with the historic nature of the building, as well as modern regulations.”
Purcell has been appointed as lead consultant and architect for the project.
The firm has previously worked on the restoration of Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge and the National Maritime Museum.
“Purcell is immensely proud to be part of one of the most ambitious and exciting heritage projects that has taken place in the North East for decades,” said Dr Alexander Holton, associate at Purcell.
“Through the vision of the Auckland Castle Trust – and its chairman, Jonathan Ruffer – the site will be transformed into a world-class visitor destination that will continue to act as a platform for social and economic regeneration throughout County Durham and beyond.”