Exeter Guildhall Shopping and Dining - ISG

Exeter Guildhall Shopping and Dining

Heritage refurbishment to create Guildhall Shopping and Dining, Exeter
  • Customer
    CIP Property AIPT/ Aviva Investors
  • Procurement Route
    Single Stage
  • Completion Date
    April 2016
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Value
  • Form Of Contract
    JCT Design and Build 2011 - Single Stage
  • Project Manager
    Sweett Group/ WT Partnership
  • Structural Engineer
  • Area
    36,500 sq ft
  • Program Duration
    52 weeks
  • Architect
  • ME Engineer
Brent Cross


We were selected by owner Hammerson to expand the UK’s first stand-alone shopping centre at Brent Cross. Although no longer the UK’s largest, the centre ranks very highly in terms of income per area of retail space. We truly valued the chance to work on this prestigious centre, as it built upon an already successful relationship with Hammerson.

Brent Cross Shopping Centre retail - ISG

The project

The works involved constructing two additional floors, refurbishing the escalator and public circulation areas, and improving numerous retail units. This all took place in a live trading environment. There were also additional works to the car park areas, involving reconfiguration of the traffic flows to improve the visitor experience. All tower crane lifting was conducted during the night. The main challenge was removing the existing west court atrium over a live and extremely busy shopping environment.

Given the detailed and complex scope of the works on an extremely busy retail site, the planning team brought all the sub-contractors on board at an early stage. This improved the programming and provided greater certainty for the client.

Absolute Completion was gained within the planned 65-week time frame and completed on budget with zero defects in November 2014.

Exeter Guildhall Shopping and Dining - ISG 5

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.

Facade of Exeter Guildhall Shopping and Dining Centre delivered by ISG Ltd UK


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’.

“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

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.”