Stonehenge centre design tender

English Heritage is aiming to put the design of its Stonehenge visitor centre out to tender around Spring 2001. This follows news that a project manager to oversee the entire scheme should be appointed by March 2001 – earlier than expected.

“We now have a clearer idea of what we want to achieve in terms of the visitor centre,” says an English Heritage spokeswoman. “Before, no-one came up with the ideas we were looking for and we were not prepared to compromise. This time, we’re pulling out all the stops.”

English Heritage aims to be more closely involved in the project than previously. The spokeswoman says English Heritage is not prepared to say any more about the design selection process at this stage, as the centre will not open to the public until 2006. Four shortlisted consortiums were ditched by English Heritage earlier this year after failing to meet the necessary criteria (DW 21 July).

The Tussauds Group’s internal design team has been linked in the past to the visitor centre. It evaluated plans after being appointed to design, build, finance and operate it, but English Heritage’s funding was turned down.

London consultancy Din Associates was also believed to be shortlisted for the work in the past. English Heritage chairman Sir Neil Cossons has described the existing Stonehenge visitor facilities as “disgraceful”.

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