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AJ Exclusive: Ian Simpson lands prize Manchester town hall job

Ian Simpson has scooped the highly prized project to refurbish the Grade II*-listed extension to Manchester town hall as part of a larger £165 million overhaul

Manchester City Council has also appointed Ryder Architects to restore and revamp of the Central Library, also Grade II*-listed, as it assembles a team to take forward its Town Hall Complex Transformation project.

The wider four-year programme scheme includes improvements to St Peter’s Square – a competition that will be launched in January next year.

A key element of the overall project will be the creation of a new customer service centre, which will allow people to access all the council services in a single visit.

Bernard Priest, executive member for finance and human resources, said: ‘This is a momentous, once-in-a-lifetime project to preserve these historic buildings, while enabling them to deliver top quality services.

‘Having architects with such international reputations on board will undoubtedly help us achieve this. We have chosen their tenders because they provide the best combination of value for money and expertise.’

The city council began its search for a design team, through the OJEU process, in June this year.

Postscript

A separate international design competition will be launched in January 2010 for St Peter’s Square and Library Walk – the curved walkway between the Town Hall Extension and Central Library. The competition aims to ‘create a breathtaking, internationally-recognised new landmark public space for the city’. The cenotaph and Metrolink stops will be retained in their current positions in St Peter’s Square.

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