It’s been a while since we looked at the David Livingstone Centre. As many people know, work is currently progressing to renovate the centre in a multi-million pound facelift. It’s been a little difficult to see whats going on as much of the site is fenced off and the old listed building, wrapped in a cloak of scaffolding and polythene. The programme has slipped somewhat with the centre now expected to re-open in summer 2020.
David Kirkwood, the Project Lead commented, “The refurbishment of the historic buildings has been very challenging – not really unexpected given that it was originally built in the 1790s. The internal and external brickwork have had to be repaired; and we have had to remove the external render, repair the roofs, and replace the chimneys – all of which has been no easy task. This has meant that more work has gone into making the building structurally sound and sustainable, with added cost and time. However, when completed, the historic buildings will not only be restored, but they will also be fit for the future and healthier than they have ever been.
We have been able to source replacement bricks and slates to match the original construction materials and the design and application of the traditional lime render to the exterior of the buildings will be taking place in the coming months.
Good progress is being made to create the new café and shop as well as preparations for the new car park, paths and landscaping in the grounds. The design of the new exhibition and interpretation of David Livingstone’s life is also moving forward and we will be keeping you updated on progress.”
As you can see from the aerial photo, works are progressing also outside the buildings, the whole frontage around the fountain and Shuttle Row, soon going to look very different. Blantyre Project has been assisting the hard working members of the Trust who have been creating a temporary exhibition over the last few months. I think it will prove very popular.
As the site starts to take shape, the building works have begun to generate lots of excitement and expectation as The Birthplace Project is becoming a reality.
Pictures are courtesy of David Livingstone Trust and Blantyre Drone Works, from a few months ago, the works now much more progressed.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
James Sime Would be amazing to have the attractions restored in the park. The centre / museum is amazing for those interested in David Livingstone and I am so glad it is being restored and saved for future generations, however, the park itself used to be a major attraction with school trips, sunday school trips, youth clubs etc all spending a full day in the park. I remember numerous playgrounds, helter skelter, football pitches, assault course, paddling pool, woodland walks etc. Beyond the museum it is just a dog walking field now. Would be great to find a sustainable way of recreating a tourist attraction that attracts more people to Blantyre beyond just the museum.