The Fashion Museum, Bath moving from its current premises to neo-Georgian corner plot

Bath post office

The grade II-listed former post office which the museum will use as its new premises

Bath and North East Somerset council has started the search for an architect to create a fashion museum inside a 1920s former post office.

The Fashion Museum, Bath has been housed in the grade I-listed Assembly Rooms in the city centre since the museum was founded in 1963. Its collection, which dates back to 1600, attracts around 100,000 visitors a year.

The museum is famous for its Dress of the Year award, which since 1963 has asked a high profile figure in fashion to select an outfit which best represents contemporary trends.

Designers whose work has been exhibited include Mary Quant, Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen and Donatella Versace.

The National Trust, which owns the 18th century Assembly Rooms and had been leasing it to the council, decided to take back occupancy in March last year with the intention of turning the building into a new museum of Georgian Bath.

The Fashion Museum is now planning to move to new premises about five minutes’ walk away at the Old Post Office, a grade II-listed building which occupies a prominent corner plot on 21-26 New Bond Street.

The new site was built by HM Office of Works in 1927 in what Historic England describes as a “fine example of revivalist design, using the popular Neo-Georgian idiom to great effect”.

The appointed team will assess the three-storey building to establish the best way to use the available space, develop designs to RIBA stage four and submit planning and listed building applications to the council.

The team will also stay on the project after consent is granted to oversee the scheme’s construction, which is expected to complete in 2030.

The time limit for sending in tenders is 4pm on 22 March.