Harborough builders play their part in King Richard III Visitor Centre and Cathedral Gardens




The sculpture ‘Towards Stillness’ in the Cathedral Gardens.

The sculpture ‘Towards Stillness’ in the Cathedral Gardens.

A Harborough-based builder has been involved in putting some of the final touches to the King Richard III Visitor Centre and gardens beside Leicester Cathedral, prior to the king’s burial ceremony on Thursday (26th March).

Long established Harborough builders WW Brown & Sons were asked to work on 2 aspects of the major project. The first was to build a stainless steel protective area by the 3 pathways surrounding the £75,000 sculpture called ‘Towards Stillness’, which tells the story of the excavation of the last Plantagenet king’s car park grave. They were also involved in creating electric doors into the reception area of the £4 million visitor centre itself.

The sculpture was commissioned by Leicestershire County Council and forms part of the £250,000 Cathedral Gardens project – a development aimed at improving the public space around St Martin’s cathedral. The piece was created by Dallas Pierce Quintero and is made up of 12 vertical steel plates. Organisers decided that the anticipated large crowds it might cause a safety issue, and so WW Brown & Sons were contracted to help with the routing of visitors around the sculpture without affecting views of the steel construction. The other project at the Visitor Centre was to install automatic electric doors to help ensure a smooth queuing process. The Visitor Centre itself is expected to attract 100,000 visitors a year.

Canon Missioner at the cathedral, the Rev. Pete Hobson, said he thought the piece would inspire passion in visitors to the area. “We’re very excited about this artwork and think it complements the city’s King Richard III statue very well,” he said.

We were delighted to be contacted by the organisers and hope that our small contribution to this exciting project have helped to bring their ambitious plans to life” comments Mark Brown from WW Brown & Sons builders. He adds “I think that the high level of interest in Richard III since the discovery of his body has been extraordinary. The crowds that lined the streets of the city show just how much it has captured the public imagination”.

It is estimated that over 35,000 people lined the streets in Leicester and Leicestershire to watch the burial procession, which was broadcast live over 4 hours on Channel 4 and widely reported on across the world.

It is not the first high profile building project that WW Brown has been involved in over the last 12 months. The company was in charge of the renovation of Market Harborough’s Old Grammar School which reopened in November 2014 after extensive work was carried out on the main structure and the roof.

The family firm dates back to 1895 and still has 3 generations of the family actively involved with the business.

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