The refurbishment of the Grade II-listed Bolton Albert Halls was declared one of the best projects in the UK at the construction industry’s annual ‘Oscars’.
The project, completed by Willmott Dixon for Bolton Council, transformed the building into a revitalised, modern public venue at the heart of the town centre, acting as a catalyst for future regeneration and encouraging more visitors to the town. The quality of the restoration saw it win Project of the Year in the £0m-£10m value category at the Construction News awards.
Judges hailed it as a “flagship project” for Bolton that demonstrated ‘a highly effective client-contractor relationship’. They also praised the way it achieved real value for money, with a strong approach to health and safety, that leaves a lasting legacy for the client, restoring an older building to its former glory.
The scope of Willmott Dixon’s work transforming Albert Halls included re-roofing, re-pointing of external stonework, asbestos removal, soft strip and demolition, lift installations, M&E installation, original flooring restoration, and other general upgrades and decoration.
The project however, was much more than just the restoration of the building; it restored a local cultural landmark for Bolton which has already won the Living Heritage Award from Welsh Slate for buildings that are important architecturally, historically or locally to a community.
Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, said, “As a locally based company, we are proud to help Bolton stand out by this award. We have a very strong track record working with Grade II listed buildings and it is always a pleasure to bring these iconic and culturally significant buildings back to life. Hopefully the town hall will now continue to play a central role in the Bolton community for generations to come.”
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council said: “We are pleased to receive this award for the conservation and regeneration of the Albert Halls. We were determined to restore the halls, as we know it is an important venue for Bolton people. The restoration of the building will allow us to provide a modern multi-purpose venue, suitable for a range of activities from weddings to conferences. It has also protected and restored the building for the people of Bolton to enjoy for many years to come.”