Oldham Town Hall

Securing a fragile Grade II listed structure for refurbishment

Temporary works solutions that work with multiple construction techniques

Enabling works to be carried out safely and without unnecessary delays

Client: Morgan Sindall
Value: £36m

Intricate Detail

An intricate regeneration project, the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Oldham Town Hall building created a modern cinema and eating complex in a heritage setting, providing the local community with revenue and jobs. It saw the transformation of an unused and deteriorating public building into a useful community hub, with heritage features preserved and cleverly blended with contemporary design.

BakerHicks provided temporary works design and checking services to allow the contractors, Morgan Sindall, to carry out the refurbishment works. Key services provided include:

  • Survey and initial repairs
  • Tenting the entire building with scaffolding and sheeting
  • Designing and checking façade retention, propping, protection, scaffold access, hoarding and fencing, crane and plant, and demolition solutions
  • Training on temporary works procedures for site staff

Having stood empty since 1995, the building was in disrepair, beset with damp and dry rot, with the roof at risk of imminent collapse and the floors dangerous. Our engineers carried out an initial survey and the repairs required, making the building safe for the construction teams to begin its transformation. They designed retention, propping, protection and scaffolding solutions appropriate for a heritage building of this type, enabling the repairs and new additions to be carried out safely without endangering the fragile structure.

Sensitive Consideration

Added complexity came from the building having been extended several times over a period of 100 years using multiple different construction techniques. Our engineers worked with these different elements of the building, designing a flexible temporary works solution that worked with the varying techniques, enabling the entire history of the building to be preserved.

With a structure that prior to refurbishment was fragile, care and planning was required in removing the supporting temporary works. Our engineers conducted inspections of the structure to make sure that sufficient permanent works had been carried out for the building to remain stable each time any section of temporary works was removed. This ensured the continued safety of the site staff and the building itself.

Our team remained on call throughout the project so any problems with the existing structure that were uncovered as works progressed were quickly and safely dealt with so there were no unnecessary holdups or risks to the project and staff. They also provided site staff with training in the temporary works procedures used on the project, ensuring all involved were able to use the designs safely and effectively.

The project transformed a building formerly listed in the Victorian Society’s ‘Britain’s top ten most endangered buildings’, giving it a new lease of life. Our expert’s knowledge and experience in heritage buildings enabled this to be done safely and to schedule.