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Gilbert-Ash named as main contractor for £30m transformation of Tate Liverpool gallery

Design drawings for the £29.75 million transformation of Tate Liverpool, which will be led by Gilbert-Ash.
Design drawings for the £29.75 million transformation of Tate Liverpool, which will be led by Gilbert-Ash. Design drawings for the £29.75 million transformation of Tate Liverpool, which will be led by Gilbert-Ash.

BELFAST-headquartered construction group Gilbert-Ash has been announced as the main contractor for the £29.75 million redevelopment of the Tate Liverpool gallery.

The modern art gallery in the city’s Royal Albert Dock is set to undergo a major transformation, largely funded by the UK Government.

The Tate Liverpool project is the latest gallery to join Gilbert-Ash’s extensive cultural and heritage portfolio.

The company recently completed work on the National Portrait Gallery in London and previously worked on the Stirling Prize winning Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.

Gilbert-Ash also acted as the main contractor for other cultural capital projects, including Battersea Arts Centre and Bristol Old Vic.

The Belfast firm recently reported a 20% year-on-year uplift in turnover to £263m for 2022.

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However, rising costs across the construction industry significantly ate into its profits last year, with the company seeing its pre-tax profit drop from £12.4m in 2021 to £4.5m in 2022.

The group’s experience of working in listed heritage buildings also includes the restoration of the grade II-listed City of London Freemen’s School and the refurbishment and extension of the grade I-listed kitchen and dining building at Jesus College, Cambridge.

Tate Liverpool is housed in an 1846 warehouse that was redesigned by Sir James Stirling and Michael Wilford in the late 1980’s as the cornerstone of the reinvention of Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

Planning permission and listed building consent for the project was granted by Liverpool City Council in October and construction will commence early in 2024.

Design drawings for the £29.75 million transformation of Tate Liverpool, which will be led by Gilbert-Ash.
Design drawings for the £29.75 million transformation of Tate Liverpool, which will be led by Gilbert-Ash. Design drawings for the £29.75 million transformation of Tate Liverpool, which will be led by Gilbert-Ash.

The transformation project led by Gilbert-Ash will involve the development of a new public ‘art hall’ on the ground floor and new gallery spaces over three floors.

The work will also modernise the building’s environmental standards and thermal performance.

“Gilbert-Ash’s track record of working to the highest standards on both cultural and heritage buildings makes them the perfect contractors to deliver the reimagined Tate Liverpool,” said Tate’s capital director, Emma King.

“We look forward to collaborating with the architects and contractors to deliver this once-in-a-generation renewal, creating an art museum fit for the 21st century.”

Raymond Gilroy, construction director at Gilbert-Ash, said: “It is another unique project to add to our extensive portfolio in the cultural, arts and heritage sector.”

He confirmed that Rodney Coalter, who recently completed the National Portrait Gallery in London, will head up the Liverpool team.

“The team is already in place finalising plans to deal with the many logistical and technical challenges that lie ahead, in advance of a start on site in early 2024,” said Mr Gilroy.

“We are looking forward to developing successful and collaborative relationships with both our new client at Tate Liverpool, the wider project consultant team, and to a very successful project delivery.”