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BTP appointed for Manchester's Pankhurst Centre

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BTP Architects has been selected to restore the Pankhurst Centre - the former home in Manchester of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst 

The practice was chosen by the Pankhurst Trust for the £2.6million revamp of the Grade II*-listed landmark following a design competition.

The site in Nelson Street is the birthplace of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and where the campaign for Votes for Women in the early 1900s was established.

The scheme includes reinstating the building’s original windows and sunken light wells to allow full use of the cellar, and the front and rear gardens landscaped to mirror the site’s original style. The Edwardian villas would also be restored to give improved thermal performance and lower maintenance costs.

Once complete, the proposed building will house a fully working museum telling the story of the Pankhursts, a flexible events space, community facilities and commercial offices for rent.

Commenting on the design proposal, Vicky Saunders director at BTP and lead architect on the project said: ’The Centre is a challenging scheme as it needs to be modern and multi-use but also capture the essence of the Pankhursts’ plight. What’s more, there’s much work to be done to reinstate the site’s historical, original features which have been lost over time.

’When complete, the design proposal we’ve developed with the Pankhurst Trust will meet this unique brief and create an inspiring and life-changing space for its visitors and users.’

Since its appointment, BTP Architects has worked with the Pankhurst Trust to submit a Stage 1 Heritage Lottery Fund grant application needed to subsidise the £2.6 million restoration.

Alongside its Heritage Lottery Fund bid, the Pankhurst Trust needs to raise an additional £20,000 over the next 12 months.

Gail Heath of the Pankhurst Trust (incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid) added: ’BTP worked with us to understand exactly what we wanted and needed for the centre and put forward an inspirational, thoughtful design. They’ve also been extremely supportive with our Heritage Lottery bid, which, if successful, will mean we can celebrate and continue the Pankhursts’ work with a new generation.’

The refurbished centre is due to open in 2018. 

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