The focus of the Trust’s work is around the capital works programme, and our thanks go to the tremendous Historic England team in York who provide us with much needed support.
Over 100 investigative condition reports have been carried out since the Trust took ownership of the site examining dry rot, drains, timber, stone work and masonry, ecology, asbestos, plasterwork and floors, giving us a greater understanding of the issues we face as we regenerate and repair the site.
The £7.6m project, funded by way of the award made by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement of 2016, has been split into three phases; the first (urgent works) is now coming to an end and included the clearance of silt and debris from all roofs, gutters, downpipes and sump outlets which were causing extensive water damage to the site. Lead repairs, propping, the addition of tarpaulin coverings and the dismantling of unstable structures was all carried out by local contractor Furniss and Sons, under the careful supervision of Purcell Architects.
Donald Insall Associates were appointed Architects for the next phase of capital works in September 2017 and in close collaboration with the Project team and Historic England carried out the tendering process for phase 1 works including the Bedlam Wing and the Riding School.
At the outset of the phase 1 project, access to the riding school was not possible due to the presence of asbestos containing materials, the presence of bats undetermined and the unavailability of large Westmorland slates, we managed a ‘worst case scenario’ by separating the phase 1 works into 3 sections, Bedlam, Chapel and Riding School. The WWPT Board approved the appointment of Aura Conservation for phase 1 works in March 2018 and work started in April 2018
Enabling commercial activities and minimising impact of scaffolding for particular events and filming during the course of the works is also being achieved through close communication and collaboration between all partners.
In close collaboration with the Project team and Historic England, the phase 2 scheme design has been developed and content for tender agreed.
The information set focuses on the key elements of work such as roofing and masonry to areas including the East Front, Long Gallery, North Pavilion and East Front Staircases. An outline sketch and visuals for a high level visitor walkway inside the temporary roof, around the East Central Block have been prepared and tendered to scaffold designers to progress this aspect ahead of the main contract works.
The information is being guided by specialist consultants, including; structural engineer, mechanical and electrical engineering, plaster and sculpture conservation, paint analysis, and timber decay assessment.
The tendering process is underway and, the earliest award date will be confirmed, in October 2018.
Allowing 4 weeks mobilisation an earliest start on site will be in November 2018