Redevelopment Starts on Tavistock’s Guildhall
The creation of a brand new mining heritage visitor centre in Tavistock’s historic Guildhall took a major step forward this week as local building firm RM Builders & Contractors Ltd started work on the building’s conservation, repair and conversion.
The new centre will tell the story of Tavistock as the eastern gateway to the Cornwall & West Devon Mining World Heritage Site. It will explain the impact that mining had on the development of the town and what life was like as a miner in the 19th century. Visitors will also be able to discover the history of the building itself, which is believed to be England’s first purpose-built combined court and police station.
The £1.8m Guildhall Gateway Project is being principally funded by Tavistock Town Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with generous support from other funders including the Cornwall & West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site, the Hobson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation. The project is being delivered in partnership by Tavistock Town Council and Tavistock Heritage Trust.
Whilst the building works are taking place the project is also running a series of community activities and events, including family days and sessions with local schools themed around Tavistock’s mining past.
The Guildhall Gateway Project is part of a £multi-million programme of long-term regeneration and investment in Tavistock’s historic town centre, which over the last five years has seen the restoration of several significant local landmarks including the Pannier Market and Butchers’ Hall.
Cllr Anne Johnson, Mayor of Tavistock Town Council, said: “Tavistock Town Council has strongly supported this project from its original conception some years ago. It is very exciting to have reached this major milestone in the project’s delivery and I am looking forward to seeing the important story of Tavistock’s mining past being told through this new visitor attraction.”
Ian Penrose, Chair of Tavistock Heritage Trust, said “As the community organisation that will be running the new visitor and heritage centre, we are delighted to see the works to conserve, repair and convert our town’s wonderful Guildhall start on site.”
The Tavistock Guildhall heritage visitor attraction and relocated Visitor Information Centre is expected to open next summer.
There will be a short ceremony and photo call taking place at 11am on Friday 4 October 2019 in Guildhall Square, Tavistock, when the Mayor of Tavistock Town Council, Cllr Anne Johnson, will be formally handing over the keys of the Guildhall to RM Builders. Please contact the Project Manager, Carrie Blogg, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be attending.
Tavistock Town Council and Tavistock Heritage Trust are working in partnership to deliver the Guildhall Gateway Project. For more information about the project visit https://www.tavistock.gov.uk/your-council/council-initiatives/guildhall-project. For details of project activities and events being run by Tavistock Heritage Trust visit https://www.heritageintavistock.org/