£1.3 million revamp entices visitors to Housesteads Roman Fort

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MGM were appointed main contractor by English Heritage during an historic revamp of Housesteads Roman Fort, the most complete Roman Fort in Britain, when The National Trust and English Heritage invested £1.3 million in an exciting two-phase partnership project to redevelop the World Heritage Site.

The first phase of the project comprised restructuring the internal layout including removal of two internal brick wall partitions in order to open up internal areas of the building.  Two side entryways were also removed from the building whilst the gable entrance was reinstated to create just one access point for visitors.

Access to the site was also improved through the creation of DDA compliant external pathways.

English Heritage Project Manager, Steve Garland, said:  “The gable was reconstructed to its original configuration and now includes stunning stone arches that really have transformed the entrance to the building.

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“In addition to the work within the museum, we’ve also created an external pathway that allows entry from the museum into the Fort via the south gate.”

Many of the improvements to the museum were implemented in order to return the building back to its original layout.  This included the installation of two brand new steel roof trusses that were designed to match the existing trusses.

The second phase saw the National Trust visitor centre remodelled, alongside improvements to the café, gift shop, toilets and staff accommodation.  The car park also received a makeover to provide 40 additional visitor parking spaces at the site.

Work was carried out during the winter period and site requirements meant that MGM operatives had to stay in lodgings as snow made access by vehicles impossible.

Working closely with the site team the project was completed within the client’s budget and on time for the official opening day.

MGM director, Brian Young, said:  “We’re proud to be associated with the refurbishment of such an important building on such an important and historic site.

“As a company we are very diverse.  However, my side of the business is heritage work, so I get a great deal of joy from being part of a project like this one.

“When visitors see the improvements – including the magnificent gable back to its original condition – it will make all of the hard work really worthwhile.”