Documentary delves into Our Town Hall project

The painstaking restoration and repair of Manchester Town Hall will be under the spotlight in a new documentary to be broadcast later this month.

The Grade I-listed building, considered a Victorian neo-gothic masterpiece, has graced the screen in numerous films and TV dramas – often acting as a ‘double’ for the Houses of Parliament.

But it will star in its own right as the subject of an episode of the series Great British Landmark Fixers to be shown on Yesterday at 8pm on Monday 20 December 2021. 

The programme looks behind the scenes at work taking place in the Town Hall, which at 144 years old is in need of an array of careful repairs to preserve its heritage from the ravages of time and ensure that it remains at the centre of civic life for many decades to come. 

We meet some of the people dedicating years of their working lives to the project, which will be completed in 2024, and learn how its legacy will not just be in protecting and enhancing the building itself but in helping a new generation of Mancunians learn heritage and construction skills.

Other national landmarks featuring in the series include Canterbury Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall in London. 

Council Leader Bev Craig, lead member for the Our Town Hall project, said:

“Manchester Town Hall is a building with a long and fascinating history and the work which is taking place now to safeguard it, while sympathetically bringing it up to modern access and safety standards, is the latest chapter in that story.

“This documentary really gets across the scope of the project, the level of care and attention that is being put into the smallest detail and the pride and passion of those who are working on it for the city. 

“It showcases the beauty of the building and the fact that its treasures, including some artefacts we are finding through the works, will be more accessible to the public once it reopens.

“It also touches on the lasting social legacy we are generating too. More than 200 jobs, and 74 apprenticeships, have been created so far. Some 75% of the money spent on the project has been with Greater Manchester-based companies, 61% of it with Manchester firms. We’re not just investing in the building, we’re investing in the future of Manchester people and the area. 

“I’d encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more about this project, the biggest heritage project currently underway in the UK, to watch.” 

The Yesterday channel can be watched on Freeview Channel 26, Sky 155, Virgin 129, Freesat 159 and youview 26. It will also be available to stream after broadcast on UKTV Play.

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