Outside the Spanish Gallery


Work on the Spanish Gallery is now well underway with the help of Meldrum Construction Services, a North East construction company based in Dunston, Gateshead.

The former bank and school buildings in Bishop Auckland Market Place will find new life as the Spanish Gallery, a project contextualising the series of paintings, Jacob and his Twelve Sons, by Francisco de Zurbarán held in Auckland Castle.

This will be the first museum in the UK dedicated to Spanish art and will be complemented by the nearby Zurbarán Centre, which has been created in partnership with Durham University, linking new academic study to the gallery’s exhibition programme.

The Spanish Gallery will provide 10 exhibition areas over three floors, including a dramatic top-lit double-height space, a learning centre, restaurant and a gift shop.

So far, Meldum’s works have included adding slate roofs to both buildings, restoration to the front elevation and window restoration work. Extension steelwork to the rear has been erected and new floors throughout the buildings are now in place. Cleaning to the exposed roof timbers has been completed.

Works still ongoing include external masonry, coverings added to the flat roofs and timber walls being built, ready for zinc cladding.

More work is also still to come with the scheduled completion of external masonry, completion of partitions and ceilings throughout the building and cleaning and restoration works to the rear masonry of the Backhouse Bank building.

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