by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer
Anyone who lives, works, eats, drinks or walks up and down Tavistock Place will have noticed some very visible changes over the last couple of weeks!
Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Sam Davey, put the first spade in the ground as part of our official ground breaking ceremony for the History Centre on 16 January – since then the road has altered on an almost daily basis.
Tavistock Place runs between the back of the Museum and Central Library buildings and St Luke’s Church. The section of road in between them is now closed. In due course it will be transformed into a new public area with pedestrian links through to North Hill and to Chapel Street.
Tavistock Place was a public square before the Museum and Central Library were built and the external pulpit that still exists outside St Luke’s Church is a reminder of this. Our aim is to create a vibrant space that provides us with lots of scope for hosting a wide range of outdoor events and activities.
Before that happens there’s a lot of other work that needs to take place. The first thing we’ve done is create a turning area. This has been made by knocking down a wall and using some of the space in the car park outside the Museum’s Annexe building. The space will enable traffic to turn around using what will eventually become a dead end. Here are some images showing how the work has happened.
While this has been going on hoardings have started going up around the site. Scaffolding will soon be installed and a series of preparatory works undertaken to prepare the area for construction work. Later in the spring some buildings to the rear of the Library will be demolished, paving the way for the new extension which will eventually house the collections from the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, South West Film and Television Archive and South West Image Bank.
Construction work on the History Centre is due to complete in summer 2019 and is being managed by leading independent construction and property services company Willmott Dixon.
Monthly hard hat tours of the construction site will be on offer from this spring if you’re interested in finding out more. They are free but places are limited and do need to be booked in advance. Our March hard hat tour is already fully booked but there are places left on our April hard hat tour. More dates will be released soon.
We’ll keep posting monthly updates about the work that’s going on. You can also keep checking the construction site web cam to stay up to date with progress as it happens. Here are day and nighttime shots taken at the beginning and end of the past couple of weeks to wrap up today’s post.