Case Study - Exeter Guildhall Shopping and Dining, UK

Project data

  • Customer
  • CIP Property AIPT/ Aviva Investors
  • Value
  • £11.4m
  • Area
  • 36,500 sq ft
  • Procurement route
  • Single Stage
  • Form of contract
  • JCT Design and Build 2011 - Single Stage
  • Programme duration
  • 52 weeks
  • Completion date
  • April 2016
  • Project Manager
  • Sweett Group/ WT Partnership
  • Architect
  • BDP
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Waterman
  • Structural Engineer
  • WSP
  • M&E Engineer
  • WSP


Working with the Guildhall team and architect, BDP, ISG delivered a reconfiguration and partial refurbishment of the shopping centre. The team created a unique dining destination in the heart of Exeter, which is helping to boost the city’s night-time economy.

The transformation encompassed the sensitive restoration and incorporation of historic elements, and Queen Street Dining is now a ‘food’ destination, boasting eight new bars, cafes and restaurants. Recognising retail property and placemaking, the project was awarded a Revo Gold Award in December 2016.

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Exeter Guildhall Shopping and Dining - ISG 4


The complex, multi-phased project (Grade II listed), designed by architects BDP, was carefully delivered to renovate and preserve the history of the site, while the popular Guildhall Shopping Centre and public realm space remained open to the public.

What we did

ISG worked closely with the client to limit disruption while operating on a live site.

The Queen Street façade was of up-most importance while delivering this project. The team installed piled foundations to support the two-storey steel frame superstructure to house the new restaurant facilities. We also stripped out and reconfigured an existing concrete framed retail unit, extending the building by a further storey and forming a roof top terrace area for diners.

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“The success of Queen Street Dining has resulted in an overall improvement in performance, enhancing the wider retail offer with the arrival of new brands. The customer offer and facilities have been improved and redundant space reincarnated as exciting catering space, making best use of the listed features and external squares. Extension of trading hours, as a result of a vibrant evening offer, presents retailers with greater opportunity to drive sales performance. The improved public realm and facilities enables the continuation of the award-winning Exeter Street Food Market.”

Simon Green, Aviva asset manager


To retain and conserve the historic Higher Market façade on Queen Street, we sourced local Portland Stone from a Devonian quarry and worked with specialist subcontractors. Working with them allowed us to use. We used traditional material to restore, repair or replace damaged elements of the building that were identified within the Grade II listed facade.

The project was also highly commended at Constructing Excellence’s 2017 South West Built Environment Awards in the category of ‘Preservation and rejuvenation’.

Working with ISG

Interview with Andrew McNeilly, general manager, Exeter Guildhall Shopping and Dining.

“ISG was just so bought into the idea of the collaborative partnership approach from the outset and maintained it all the way through.”