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World Heritage Visitor's Centre


7 Owengate, Palace Green, Durham


Client Durham University

Architect Howarth Litchfield Partnership

Completion April 2011

Value - 550,000

 The work involved the conversion of a derelict historic and listed building (Alms House) in Durham into a World Heritage Centre. Due to our experience in restoring and working on historic buildings VEST Construction fought off strong competition to secure this prestigious project in the historic heart of Durham City, in a highly pedestrianised area. The project was commissioned by Durham University.

 Work included full stone restoration, including the replacement of many key stones, underpinning works to stabilise parts of the building, window restoration and renewing the roof coverings and strengthening works to the roof timbers. We were also commissioned to construct a ground floor extension at the rear of the property. As the building is on the site of the Durham Mint all excavation works had to be either undertaken by the archaeologists or under their supervision.

 Other works included full new service installations, damp proofing and tanking works, preservation of historic internal features and new finishes including the use of historic lime/hair plasters. All works were undertaken under the scrutiny of the conservation and planning departments.


Whilst work was in progress




           Archaeology Works in progress







The University, architect, conservation and end user are delighted with the building and it has already been entered into a series of awards and won two to date, including the RICS Renaissance Award for Tourism & Leisure 2012 and commended in the Building Conservation at the same awards.

BELOW: Award Received