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Friday18 August 2017

BTP wins Pankhurst centre refurb

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Practice wins design role on £2.6m restoration of landmark centre in Manchester

BTP Architects has beaten off competition to win a £2.6 million restoration of the landmark Pankhurst Centre in Manchester.

Subject to successful fundraising the project will see a complete refurbishment of the former home of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

BTP will restore the grade II* listed building at 60-62 Nelson Street in the city, which is the birthplace of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and the location from which it led the campaign for Votes for Women in the early 1900s.

The building is currently home to a heritage centre but following limited investment since the 1980s is in need of repair and renovation. 

Key project activities would include reinstating the building’s original windows and sunken light wells to allow full use of the cellar, and the front and rear gardens landscaped to mirror the site’s original style.

Once complete, the proposed building will house a fully working museum telling the story of the Pankhursts, a flexible events space, community facilities and commercial offices for rent.

The competition comes after an announcement earlier this month of a joint campaign by the TUC and the City of London Corporation to erect a statue of Pankhurst on Clerkenwell Green in Islington in time for the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. The act enabled women to vote for the first time.

Commenting on the design proposal, Vicky Saunders, director at BTP and lead architect on the project, said: “The Centre is a challenging scheme as it needs to be modern and multi-use but also capture the essence of the Pankhursts’ plight. What’s more, there’s much work to be done to reinstate the site’s historical, original features which have been lost over time.

“When complete, the design proposal we’ve developed with the Pankhurst Trust will meet this unique brief and create an inspiring and life-changing space for its visitors and users.”

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