Simpson & Brown Architects with Addyman Archaeology


The new Museum for Biggar and Upper Clydesdale opened in July 2015. The new building on Biggar High Street houses an important collection of local artefacts built up over many years and originally housed in separate premises in and around the town. In 2010 the Biggar Museum Trust engaged Simpson & Brown to carry out a feasibility study to examine options for consolidating the various collections. A preferred option was identified, that of a new, purpose built museum on the site of the vacant Stephens Garage on the High Street and money was raised by the local community to buy the site.

Plans were then drawn up for a large flexible steel framed shed behind the garage frontage, (a former Smiddy), which was retained. The new structure was designed to accommodate existing displays including the popular, Gladstone Court street exhibit, and to meet all the requirements necessary for the Trust to be able to borrow from national collections. Providing secure and environmentally stable conditions within the existing building required Simpson and Brown to co-ordinate input from many sources including the Trust, local & national curators, security advisors, services engineers and various contractors. Minimising running costs and providing an up to date visitor experience were also significant aims for the project.

After obtaining funding from the Clyde Wind Farm Development Fund and from numerous local individuals and organisations, work begun in the spring of 2014. Fittingly for a local enterprise, local contractors were appointed to carry out the works and a close working relationship was established between client, contractor and design team.

The result of this collaboration can be best summed up by the local saying, ‘London's big, but Biggar's Biggar’.

Project name: Biggar Museum
Client name: Biggar Museum Trust
Contract value: £1.07M plus fitting out, acquisition costs and fees
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