Hay Castle, one of the UK's older castles, is to be revamped in a £5 million restoration project. The project will focus on restoring key parts of the keep for permanent preservation of the historic site. Mott MacDonald has been hired to provide a range of engineering and consultancy work for the project.
Hay Castle is located in the small Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye in Powys. The castle was built as part of medieval fortification around 1200, as part of the Norman invasion of Wales. The castle has had an up and down history, burnt down several times during various wars throughout the ages, before becoming a private home in the 17th century. In 1939 and 1977 the home was gutted by fire, with the repairs not sufficient to save the Hay Castle – which fell into dereliction by the 21st century.
Back to its former glory
In a bid to bring the castle back to its former glory, the Hay Castle Trust acquired the building in 2011. The trust’s stated goal for the building is the permanent preservation of the historic site. Following various planning permission requirements, the restoration project, which received Heritage Lottery Fund support a while back, was recently announced as off the ground.
The restoration work is focused on restoring the areas most at risk, including the medieval keep and archway, Jacobean mansion and service wing, as well as the castle’s ancient gate, the oldest of its kind in the UK. In addition, a connection between the castle and town will be recreated, creating indirect economic benefits for the area.
Mott MacDonald has been commissioned by the Trust to deliver project management, design and technical advisory services to the project. The firm’s team, led by Mark Smith, Mott MacDonald’s Project Director, will focus on mechanical and electrical, fire engineering and infrastructure design services. The firm will, in addition, take responsibility for “procurement and tender processes and project managing the pre-construction and constructions phases of the project, from technical design through to handover.”
Commenting on the firm’s role in the £5 million project, Smith said, “We are bringing both innovative and tried and tested solutions to this project taken from our experience of working in the heritage sector. With projects of this nature we actively manage risk at every stage, which has been a key feature of our past service delivery and a major contributing factor to our success. Mott MacDonald also has a proven track-record on projects across the UK funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are experienced in supporting external funding applications and the management of business cases to support such schemes.”