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After a three year wait lead architect on Restoration winner is finally named

The team behind the renovation of Manchester's Victoria Baths - the winner of the hugely popular Restoration television programme back in 2003 - has finally cleared its first major hurdle.

After nearly three years of planning and fundraising, the Victoria Baths Trust (VBT) has, at last, appointed Lloyd Evans Pritchard as the lead architect and conservation specialist.

Austin-Smith:Lord, which worked on the initial plans for the internal renovation of the 1906 gem, will now have a 'watching brief' over the £3 million project.

The structural engineering work is to be carried out by Wright Mottershaw, while Buro Four has been named as the project manager.

The team will kick off by producing a specification for the restoration scheme on the Turkish baths and the building's front block.

This includes repairs to the external shell, reslating the roofs, replacing gutters and drain pipes, restoring the stained-glass windows and refurbishing the tiled ceiling of the baths.

Gill Wright, VBT's project manager, said: 'We are thrilled to be taking the first step towards restoration and can't wait to get the ball rolling and get the structural work under way.'

English Heritage helped the VBT and Manchester City Council to choose the consultant team, and Henry Owen-John, the organisation's planning and development director for the North West, welcomed the appointments.

He said: 'It is excellent news that such a strong team has been put in place - we can now look forward with confidence to the start of works on site later this year.'

by Richard Waite

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