De Montfort University – Castle Hall Business School
The conservation of a Grade 1 Listed former court building into a new teaching space
Client: De Montfort University
Team: Total Regen
Type: Refurbishment and Conservation
Project value: £1,250,000
Procurement: Competitive Tender
The team behind the transformation of Leicester Castle into a leading business school have described the challenge and excitement of bringing such a historic building back to life. De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is opening the Leicester Castle Business School in the Grade 1 listed Great Hall of the 11th century building next to the church of St Mary de Castro.
The castle was last used as a criminal and civil court before closing in 1992. Standing in one of the building’s two high-ceilinged court rooms and gesturing at the beautiful exposed beams, the project has unique challenges.
Walls need repairing and furniture will be restored. There are also windows to be refurbished and the real challenge is access. Not only are we limited in getting vehicles and equipment up to the castle through the two entrance routes, but also working with conservation officers to ensure the building work adheres to the preservation requirement in such a listed building.
While the largest of the two court rooms will be preserved with its original wooden furniture and used as a unique lecture theatre, the other will be converted to be used as a larger, more open space.