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Competition: Ford Dagenham heritage centre

Ford Dagenham
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Barking and Dagenham Council is recruiting an architect to design a £5-to-£8 million heritage centre within east London’s former Ford stamping plant

The winner of the estimated £65,000 contract will deliver an outline business case, RIBA Stage 1 concept design, and Heritage Lottery Fund stage one application for the Thames-side facility.

The project, which is part of wider plans to transform the 29ha factory into 3,000 homes, will tell the story of London’s Manufacturing history through archive material and a collection of working historic Ford cars. The scheme also includes a cultural centre, community space and affordable studios for emerging arts practitioners.

In its brief, the council calls the project ‘an exciting but challenging commission that comprises the development of an outline business case and costed design plan for a new heritage and cultural centre of regional significance, on the site of the former Ford stamping plant.

‘It will tell the story of the area’s industrial heritage but also support the development of new sustainable creative industries in the borough. The new centre will celebrate the industrial achievements of the area, act as a cultural centre, community resource and social facility within the proposed housing development in which it will be located, and as a visitor destination.’

The Ford Dagenham plant opened in 1931 on a large site overlooking the River Thames. The factory – which at its peak measured 190ha, employed 40,000 people and featured its own port, power station and foundry – produced more than 10 million vehicles and 37 million engines.

Vehicle assembly ceased 15 years ago and, while specialist engine construction still continues, in 2013 Ford of Europe announced the closure of Dagenham’s stamping plant. Last year Countryside and London & Quadrant (L&Q) Housing Trust were selected to deliver 3,000 new homes on the site, which has been masterplanned by Patel Taylor and is now undergoing demolition.

The team selected for the project will evaluate potential demand for the new facility and the availability of relevant collections for display. An indicative design and cost plan will also be produced, featuring an overall footprint and layouts for exhibition spaces, studios, storage, catering, retail, community and social spaces, classrooms and workshops.

An initial budget of between £5 million and £8 million is being considered, with one option being with co-location of the centre with a planned secondary school on the site. Potential display collections include the former factory’s line-up of 120 classic vehicles.

The deadline for applications is midday, 22 September.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Paul Hogan
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Barking Town Hall
IG11 7LU

Tel: 020 8227 3576
Email: paul.hogan@lbbd.gov.uk

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