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M&E expertise helps preserve historic Wilton’s music hall for future generations

10 December 2015

Located in the heart of London’s East End, Wilton's; the only surviving Grand Music Hall in the world, has just completed a multi-million pound internal and external refurbishment programme

Principal Contractor was York based conservation and restoration specialists William Anelay Limited which again worked in partnership with Quartzelec’s Manchester based building services engineering business; tasking it this time with delivering the £580k M&E element of the contract. 

Remaining in almost continual daily use, which placed considerable logistical implications on the project, significant works was needed to restore the five terraced houses, originally built in the 1690s and subsequently knocked together in 1858 to create the main façade to the Wilton’s music hall.

Having become quite dilapidated, the trustees of the independent charity, that receives no core funding but survives through its entrepreneurial spirit and raises funds from donations, box office, bar sales and hires, embarked on a major restoration programme that included extensive structural alterations, floor strengthening, new joinery fittings for the dressing rooms, plus new and repaired bars and box office. 

The M&E aspects implemented by Quartzelec were also quite extensive across the venue. In addition to stripping out the existing installations and replacing the mains distribution plus general and emergency lighting installations, a containment system and both small power and mechanical power solutions, other ‘modernising’ aspects comprised: installing a wireless fire alarm system, intruder alarms, integrated CCTV and disabled toilet alarms; plus a data/communications installation that meets today’s requirements and includes video, intercom and audio systems with all the necessary wiring and outlets.

Quartzelec also implemented the LTHW heating and the cooling systems; hot and cold water and the necessary sanitary ware; gas and utilities provision; ventilation; plus above ground drainage. 

“Working on ‘historic’ renovation projects is never without its challenges, but they also bring real rewards,” explained Dave Birchall, Quartzelec’s Contract Manager. “In upgrading the electrical and environmental installations to modern standards over the past year for the Wilton's Music Hall, we’ve played our part in preserving this fantastic building and made it accessible and safe for future generations to enjoy.

"The public continued to access the building daily throughout the project and with performances also still taking place in the evenings, all our activities had to be carefully scheduled and noise and disruption kept to a minimum – But the issues we faced on a daily basis quickly faded into insignificance and we have left a lasting legacy that we are truly proud of.”

Chris Connolly the project Quantity Surveyor at William Anelay Limited, one of the UK's longest established construction companies added: “Throughout each phase of the project, the Quartzelec team worked alongside other contractors and the Wilton’s own volunteers.

"They rose to every challenge and used their skill and expertise to solve the design and implementation issues that occur almost without fail on every listed building project like this one. Together we have delivered a flexible, creative and functional environment that means a vibrant blend of culture, heritage, learning and participation can be offered through an in-house produced programme of imaginative productions and the Trust is delighted with the final result.”

Quartzelec continues to secure a steady stream of M&E design, delivery and support contracts. Recent projects delivered in partnership with York based principal contractor William Anelay Limited include the final £700k refurbishment phase at Wakefield’s Grade II listed Carnegie Library and Art House and the sympathetic £700k refit of the Green Howards Regimental Museum in Richmond, just north of York.

Other prestigious projects and recent wins include: a £4.6m contract from main contractor Morgan Sindall plc, Quatrtzelec’s largest ever contract to date, that covers four significant new framework schools projects located in Preston, Widnes, Birkenhead and Blacon Cheshire; a £3+m M&E design and installation contract for 135 bespoke homes for the over 55s for Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG) in South Manchester; a £1.4m project for the new Wirral Met College Campus at Wirral Waters; a £1.6m refurbishment contract for Manchester Metropolitan University; and a £1.58m 10-floor housing development at One Smithfield Square in Manchester’s fashionable Northern Quarter.

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