The scheme, delivered on behalf of Shropshire Council by by Pave Aways Building Contractors, has included re-instating the original Castle Square entrance, redesigning the auditorium, creating a new box office, improvements to accessibility, a visitor information centre and café bar, modernisation of the mechanical and technical equipment and installation of photo voltaic panels to generate electricity.
The project was predominantly funded by Shropshire Council with additional money raised by Ludlow Assembly Rooms. Grants were also received from the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England.
The original scope of the refurbishment was extended after extensive additional work was uncovered during the build that included repairs to the auditorium ceiling and the replacement of the ground floor timbers following an historic infestation of death watch beetle.
Pave Aways’ commercial director Victoria Lawson paid tribute to the team who worked on the build, including contracts manager Stefan Ivanovic and site managers Joe Price and Andy Pagett.
She said: “Restoring and modernising the Assembly Rooms in such a comprehensive scheme has not only preserved the historic fabric of the building but created an incredible venue that will serve the community for many years to come.
“As with many old buildings, additional work was identified as the build progressed, but our team rose to the challenge as it did with the restraints of new working practices since the outbreak of coronavirus. We are delighted to have completed this transformation.”
Volunteer CEO of the Ludlow Assembly Rooms, Helen Hughes, added: “While it has taken longer than originally expected, I have kept my eye on the prize – a brilliantly restored and environmentally sustainable facility for the community of Ludlow and the surrounding area.
“I cannot praise Pave Aways highly enough – every member of the team has been fantastic to work with and we are really pleased with the results. Ludlow can look forward to many years of arts and community activities in comfort.”
Leela Cottey, strategic asset manager for Shropshire Council said: “This has been a complex and challenging project, realising its initial aims and objectives, as well as identifying and resolving significant condition issues. Shropshire Council couldn’t have achieved this without excellent teamwork, knowledge and enthusiasm from those involved.”