Associated Architects has been appointed to carry out a feasibility study into major modernisation works on Birmingham’s Council House and redevelopment of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
The Grade II* listed complex, which comprises the Council House built in 1879 and an extension from 1911, requires major improvements, in particular the upgrade of its electrical and mechanical installations.
There are also plans for an overhaul of the museum element of the complex in Victoria Square. Birmingham Museums Trust will work with community groups and experts to rethink the city’s collection and showcase it in new ways aimed at attracting young, multicultural audiences and international visitors to the city.
The plan for the museum is to create new displays and exhibitions including a children’s museum, community gallery and larger learning suite.
Coun Ian Ward, interim leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“As well as updating the Victorian infrastructure of the Council House, this provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to be redeveloped as an international destination which reflects the city’s stories to the world.”
The works will allow Birmingham Museums Trust to progress with plans to submit a funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in late 2018 for support of the redevelopment project, followed by a second bid in 2019.
Ellen McAdam, director of Birmingham Museums Trust, added:
“This appointment is an important step towards creating a new Museum for Birmingham.”