Robert Woodhead wins Old Magnus Buildings Restoration Project

A £3.85million contract to restore and transform the Old Magnus Buildings in Appletongate, Newark has been awarded to Newark-based construction company Robert Woodhead Ltd.

Following a competitive tender, Robert Woodhead Ltd’s specialist Heritage Division, Woodhead Heritage, was selected by Newark and Sherwood District Council to undertake the £5.4million project. The work will transform the Grade II buildings, located next to the Palace Theatre, into a new museum and National Civil War Centre.

This new museum will provide a showcase for the history of Newark and Sherwood and become a national centre for the history of the British Civil Wars. Formerly part of the Magnus School, the new museum will also be a centre of learning, linked to local studies and the national curriculum, as well as offering a new visitor destination for the region.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £3.5million toward the £5.4m total cost of the project with the centre expected to attract more than 60,000 visitors to the town and district each year.

The Grade II* Old Magnus Buildings – which date back to 1532 – with its free school, Tudor hall, Georgian townhouse extension and Victorian schoolrooms will house a treasure trove of history and become a vibrant centre of learning in the heart of the town.

Woodhead Heritage will be working with Architects Purcell to ensure the transformation is a success.

Simon Butler, Woodhead Heritage said: “We are very pleased to have won this latest project. Having worked on the Newark Castle Walls restoration, and currently working on the project to turn the former Police Station and Magistrates Court into a Piano Making School, as well as being local to Newark, we are aware of the importance of this development. We are also keen to ensure there is minimal disruption for our neighbours, the Palace Theatre, and the community too as we know Appleton Gate is a busy road. The project will be registered under the Considerate Constructors Scheme and we will be aiming for a good score; ideally over 40. We start development work on this project early September 2013.”

Bryony Robins, Development Manager at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We believe our cultural heritage is extremely important in making the area an attractive place to live and visit. We are acutely aware of the unique role the district has played in UK history and are keen to ensure cultural activity plays its part in enriching the lives of local residents and in supporting the local economy.

“The Council has successfully obtained funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help towards this transformation work which will greatly enhance the area, provide another unique attraction for Newark and the district, and undoubtedly further increase visitor numbers.”

Ecology work has started on site and archaeologists will hopefully be moving on site soon before the actual build and refurbishment work begins

Concept Photographs Provided by:

Purcell Architects