Willmott Dixon’s refurbishment of the Grade II-listed Bolton
Albert Halls was declared one of the best projects in the UK at the
construction industry’s annual ‘Oscars’.

The project, for Bolton Council, transformed the building into a revitalised,
modern public venue at the heart of the town centre, acting as a catalyst for
future regeneration and encouraging more visitors to the town. The quality of
Willmott Dixon’s work saw it win Project of the Year in the £0m-£10m value
category at the Construction News awards.

Judges hailed it as a “flagship project” for Bolton that demonstrated ‘a highly
effective client-contractor relationship’. They also praised the way it achieved
real value for money, with a strong approach to health and safety, that leaves
a lasting legacy for the client, restoring an older building to its former glory.

Judges commented further, “The careful phased approach was impressive,
particularly around asbestos, and the whole project showed the value of
forging strong relationships within the project team.”

The scope of Willmott Dixon’s work transforming Albert Halls included re-
roofing, re-pointing of external stonework, asbestos removal, soft strip and
demolition, lift installations, M&E installation, original flooring restoration, and
other general upgrades and decoration. The project however, was much more
than just the restoration of the building; what has been created is a local
cultural landmark for Bolton which has already won the Living Heritage Award
from Welsh Slate for buildings that are important architecturally, historically
or locally to a community.

It continues Willmott Dixon’s role across Bolton, which also includes building
Horwich Leisure Centre and starting plans to restore the Octagon Theatre.

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, said, “As a
locally based company, we are proud to help Bolton stand out with this
award. We have a very strong track record working with Grade II listed
buildings and it is always a pleasure to bring these iconic and culturally
significant buildings back to life. Hopefully the town hall will now continue to
play a central role in the Bolton community for generations to come.”

Joanne Ivison, head of service asset management, Bolton Council, “Bolton
Council is immensely proud to receive such a prestigious award. It was a
pleasure to work alongside Willmott Dixon to deliver this complex, challenging
project. The project has created a legacy for Bolton of which we are incredibly
grateful.’

Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council said: “We are pleased to receive this award for the conservation and regeneration of the Albert Halls. We were determined to restore the halls, as we know it is an important venue for Bolton people. The restoration of the building will allow us to provide a modern multi-purpose venue, suitable for a range of activities from weddings to conferences. It has also protected and restored the building for the people of Bolton to enjoy for many years to come.”
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