City Coun­cil House set for ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment De­sign team to draw up plan for land­mark and mu­seum

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

BIRM­ING­HAM Coun­cil House is to un­dergo a ma­jor mod­erni­sa­tion as the neigh­bour­ing mu­seum and art gallery is re­de­vel­oped.

The grade II*-listed com­plex, which com­prises the Coun­cil House built in 1879 and an ex­ten­sion from 1911, re­quires sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments, in par­tic­u­lar the up­grade of its elec­tri­cal and me­chan­i­cal installations.

A de­sign team was this week ap­pointed to carry out a fea­si­bil­ity study into the project.

Birm­ing­ham Museums Trust plans to “re­think” the city’s col­lec­tions and show­case them in new ways aimed at at­tract­ing young, mul­ti­cul­tural au­di­ences and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors.

The mu­seum plan will cre­ate new dis­plays and ex­hi­bi­tions in­clud­ing a chil­dren’s mu­seum, com­mu­nity gallery and larger learn­ing suite.

Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil has ap­pointed con­trac­tor Bouygues and a de­sign team led by city prac­tice As­so­ci­ated Ar­chi­tects to carry out the study.

Con­ser­va­tion ar­chi­tects Rod­ney Melville & Part­ners and Hoare Lea M&E En­gi­neers are also in­volved. A fi­nal re­port is due in June next year.

Coun­cil­lor Ian Ward, in­terim leader of the city coun­cil, said: “As well as up­dat­ing the Vic­to­rian in­fra­struc­ture of the Coun­cil House, this pro­vides a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity for Birm­ing­ham Mu­seum & Art Gallery to be re­de­vel­oped as an in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tion which re­flects the city’s sto­ries to the world.”

Birm­ing­ham Museums Trust hopes to sub­mit a bid for Her­itage Lot­tery funds in late 2018 fol­lowed by a sec­ond bid in 2019.

Ellen McA­dam, di­rec­tor of Birm­ing­ham Museums Trust, added: “This ap­point­ment is an im­por­tant step to­wards cre­at­ing a new Mu­seum for Birm­ing­ham.

“We look for­ward to work­ing with Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil to de­liver the project. We can now be­gin fundrais­ing in earnest.

“The Birm­ing­ham museums’ team will be work­ing hard to take the project to the next stage.

“We will con­tinue to en­gage with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to show­case the city’s world-class col­lec­tion.

“We aim to re-imag­ine this great his­toric col­lec­tion for the young, di­verse Birm­ing­ham of the 21st cen­tury.”

> Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil House, in Vic­to­ria Square, was built in 1879

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