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Competition: Tywi Gateway, Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire County Museum
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Tywi Gateway Trust is recruiting a design team for a £891,000 overhaul of Bishop’s Park in Abergwili, Carmarthenshire

The conservation architect and landscape architect chosen for the estimated £125,000 contract will develop plans from RIBA Stage 4-7 for the restoration of the neglected Bishop’s Park and other disused outbuildings surrounding the Old Bishop’s Palace.

The ‘Tywi Gateway’ project will transform a disused dairy within the historic landscaped park into a new visitors centre featuring a museum, café, toilets and offices. A nearby walled garden and ha-ha, octagonal-shaped lodge and bothy will also be restored. The project has already been developed by Acanthus Holden to RIBA Stage 3 and received both planning permission and HLF backing.

According to the brief: ‘The Tywi Gateway Trust wishes to appoint a design team which will include a conservation architect and landscape architect with other specialist consultant support, to guide us through the process of delivering the Heritage Lottery Funded Tywi Gateway Project at the Bishop’s Park.

‘This project will conserve, restore and re-invigorate the nationally important Bishop’s Park and Old Bishop’s Palace outbuildings, working with the local community and project partners Carmarthenshire County Council and the Representative Body of the Church in Wales to create an education and interpretation centre and café, providing opportunities for sustainable income streams to support the long-term management and maintenance of the site.’

Located just outside Carmarthen, the park surrounds a historic house which started life as a college of priests in the 1280s. The medieval building then became the palace of the Bishops of St David’s from 1542 to 1974 and is thought to be where the New Testament was first translated into Welsh.

The historic building was significantly adapted during the nineteenth century and transformed into the Carmarthenshire County Museum (pictured) in 1978. The Welsh Historic Gardens Trust began its search for an architect to draw up the initial stages of the project in the summer of 2015.

The team chosen for the latest contract will refine the existing plans to ensure financial sustainability for the enterprise and deliver the restoration and conversion scheme ‘to a high quality and to a tight timescale.’ The project is planned to complete in 2021.

Interested teams must have at least £5 million worth of employers, public liability and professional indemnity insurance. Bids will be evaluated 70 per cent on quality and 30 per cent on cost.

The deadline for applications is 12noon on 11 March.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Louise Austin
Tywi Gateway Trust
The Old Bishop’s Palace
SA31 2JG

Tel: +44 7399265237
Email: louiseaustin@tywigateway.org.uk




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