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Blackpool based preservation company, RTC, are proud to be the preferred contractor to carry out waterproofing and damp proofing works as part of the ‘life cycle’ refurbishment of the grade two-listed Grosvenor West building, home of the historic Manchester School of Art.

The specialist work will be carried out in the basement with the refurbished spaces used for art workshops and studios.

Jamie Willacy, co-founder and partner at RTC said: “It is a privilege to be part of a project to preserve a monumental building that has inspired creative thinking ever since it was built.

“The building has a proud history, and we will be working closely with other project partners to ensure it can continue to excite and motivate artists and designers of the future.”

The university appointed Cassidy + Ashton as lead and heritage architects on the project, alongside Conlon Construction Limited as the main contractors.

The overall ‘life cycle’ refurbishment project comprises exterior fabric repairs as well as improvements to insulation, heating, lighting and accessibility. The project aims at maintaining, enhancing and reintroducing the original heritage assets, all of which sets out to preserve the 141-year-old building, and ensure it meets the needs of the school’s next generation of art and design students.

Based on Cavendish Street, the 46,000 ft2 Grosvenor West Building was designed by George Tunstal Redmayne and opened in 1881. It was later extended in 1898 with the rear addition designed by Joseph Gibbons Sankey.

The Manchester School of Art is the UK’s second oldest art school and spans a number of buildings on the Manchester Metropolitan University campus, including Grosvenor West and the Benzie Building. The Grosvenor West Building also houses the Holden Gallery, a public gallery situated at the heart of the building, which has functioned as a gallery since the building was extended in 1898. The School of Art has hosted notable names such as Walter Crane, Sylvia Pankhurst, Adolph Valette and LS Lowry.

Manchester School of Art is an innovator in art and design education in the UK. Established to provide design training to the manufacturing industry, the school offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses still very much influenced by the demands of industry to provide students with the essential skills and knowledge for their chosen careers.

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