Castle gets Studio treatment

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A practice of architects, designers, engineers and urbanists has been appointed for a programme of conservation works at Lancaster Castle.

The Duchy of Lancaster has appointed The Manchester Studio of BDP to undertake maintenance and repair of the Grade I listed building.

BDP’s major repairs programme will conserve the historic external fabric of the castle, including its roofs and masonry, protecting the building and preparing it for any future development.

Initial proposals for the creation of a new tourist attraction, with boutique hotel, education, events and performance space, were unveiled at a public consultation event at the castle last month.

BDP has been involved with the castle since 2011, when the company’s Historic Environments team prepared a condition appraisal of the building before it was transferred from the prison service back to the Duchy of Lancaster in January of this year.

Since that time, BDP has been the agent for maintaining the buildings and is currently supervising a programme of investigations which will inform the process of conservation and repair.

Commenting on the appointment, BDP architect director and project lead for Lancaster Castle, Alan Davies, said: “BDP carried out a detailed condition survey of the buildings for the Duchy of Lancaster and we are currently working closely with the Duchy to define and implement 
a programme of conservation repairs and a long term maintenance strategy which will ensure that the castle can accommodate the range of new uses which are currently being considered.”

The conservation programme is due to begin on site in spring 2013 and it is anticipated that the shell repairs will be completed by spring 2014.

Should planning for a hotel, education, arts and events be granted, a programme of fit out works would follow, with the new development expected to open by spring 2017.