News & Insights

Morgan Sindall Construction lands historical Stoke Spitfire Museum

NEWS

Morgan Sindall Construction has been appointed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to erect a new £5.4 million extension for the city’s Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. Once complete, the new gallery will be used to house the iconic Spitfire RW388, following its removal from the public eye for restoration in 2018.

Designs for the scheme outline a 3,800 square foot building complete with specialised new structural glazing, which will enable the Spitfire to be viewed from outside the museum. Alongside this, the main contractor will also carry out a light refurbishment to the existing 4,200 square foot café, including internal improvements to the walls, ceilings, and floor finishes. The café will be fully operational upon the completion of the new gallery.

Enabling works began in early March and the main contract is now progressing well in line with government guidelines on safe operation.

The site team is currently focused on the foundations for the build. Stoke-on-Trent is known for its industrial history as the pottery home of England with local residents commonly referred to as the Potters. The majority of the city sits upon the ex-North Staffordshire Coalfield. Over the past five months, the team has worked to remove any obstructions from beneath the surface, as well as filling in any visible coal seams. Steelwork is set to begin in early autumn, when the external frame for the building will begin to take shape.

Morgan Sindall Construction was appointed to deliver the project through the SCAPE Regional Construction framework, which is aimed at facilitating high-quality projects across the Midlands and East of England. In line with this, the main contractor will ensure that at least a fifth of the project’s investment fee is matched by social value contributions which will benefit the local community.
In addition, the project team will visit nearby schools upon their re-opening, inspiring the next generation of schoolchildren with educational sessions about careers in construction and the Spitfire legacy.

Reginald J. Mitchell, the creator of the Spitfire plane, was born and educated in North Staffordshire before gaining fame for his invention, and its reintroduction to the museum will provide a key service in preserving local history. Morgan Sindall Construction has collaborated with the local council and other consultants on the scheme on an educational film, to be used within the museum itself, about the history of the plane and its special relationship with the city.

Rob Cant, Scape Regional Construction framework director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “Throughout the turbulence of the past few months, we have seen more than ever the importance of our local communities. Stoke-on-Trent’s iconic Spitfire is emblematic of the city’s fighting spirit. We are proud to be involved in such an important scheme for both the city’s wider economic offering, and its own regional heritage, while also serving as a clear inspiration to the next generation of innovators and engineers.

“Work is progressing well thanks to a diverse and highly-skilled local supply chain we’re collaborating with on this project and we look forward to seeing it come out of the ground in the months ahead.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “The Spitfire is a symbol of ingenuity, agility and endeavour that continues to make a significant contribution to Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s £1.7 billion visitor economy. It’s a pleasure to see The Potteries Museum & Arts Gallery, Morgan Sindall Construction and Perfect Circle united under these principles to bring this powerful story to a new generation. We’re so proud to have played our part in performance managing this important restoration project, with the museum using our framework to break ground on the new extension with both speed and certainty.”

Property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Perfect Circle has been appointed as the city council’s multi-disciplinary construction consultant through Scape Group’s Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework to deliver all services, including project management, quantity surveying, and mechanical and electrical engineering.
Managing director Victoria Brambini said: “It is a privilege for Perfect Circle to be working on such an important project for the people Stoke-on-Trent to enjoy, and one that will provide a lasting legacy for the city into the future.
“As well as bringing vibrancy to the community and delivering tangible value through the creation of local jobs, the project will see the iconic Spitfire return to its rightful resting place – in the city where its original designer was born and raised, on display for all to see.”

Construction is expected to complete on the project in spring 2021.

  • For more information about this news release please contact Helena Young at Influential on 07708896211 or email young@thisisinfluential.com