Grade II listed building restoration project specified in HMG paint

04 April 2019

BY Paddy

Executive Summary

In 2010 Manchester City Council undertook the enormous project of refurbishing the iconic Grade II listed Manchester Central Library with the aim of “Transforming Manchester’s historic jewel in the crown into an open, multi-functional facility for all.”


As an icon of Manchester the City Council were keen to build on the existing legacy but make it a space for the 21st Century.

With a mixture of decades of development work and new areas being built entirely, including an entire new ground floor, their were many coating challenges.

The project needed a company who were local and could supply a variety of high standard coatings quickly and to various specifications. With HMG’s main site only 3 miles away from the library the project contract we were the perfect partner for the project.

The Solution

From the outset HMG technical sales representatives and even the MD John Falder visited the site offering coating advice to the project team which included Laing O’Rourke and the Broadley Group.

Whilst the building work commenced our team of colour technicians and Research and Development technicians set about ensuring the perfect coating specifications and ensuring consistent colours across a number of systems.

With a variety of areas and substrates involved in the project, including the iconic Woolfson Reading Room and a new feature glass and steel stairway and lift from its basement to the top floor, our diverse portfolio allowed us to provide the perfect coatings solution.

Over the course of 18 months HMG supplied a mix of traditional solvent based coatings along with our new water based decorative range, all of which was backed up by technical support throughout the process.

The Products

Products supplied during this project.

Vinyl Matt Emulsion
Available in both Silk and Matt a High Quality decorative interior paint giving excellent properties combined with fast drying times.

HMG Contract Emulsion
A decorative matt emulsion that has excellent opacity that improves as the paint dries. Excellent results can be achieved with a single coat. Designed for easy application on interior plaster walls and ceilings.

Gloss Finish Trim Paint
A premium quality, decorative and protective gloss finish for use over correctly prepared joinery. Ideal for windows, doors, soffits and fascias.

Plus a range of speciality coatings available from HMG Paints Industrial business 

The Result

The library reopened in March 2014 and was universally praised and even scooped the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Building of the Year Award 2014.

“Manchester Central Library has been selected as this year’s Building of the Year Award winner as it is a high quality reconstruction and refurbishment of one of the city’s crown jewels. The attention to detail in preserving the historic character of the building is matched by the fine updating of the Library’s facilities, making it a superb asset for the inhabitants of a 21st century city.”
Mike Gibson, Chair of the Chamber’s Property and Construction Committee

As a proud Manchester company we were honoured to be involved in this project and of the working relationship we established with all involved.

“The results of the redecoration are fantastic, and I am delighted that the Library has been given a modern edge whilst retaining its classical features. The partnership between Broadley Group and HMG Paints was excellent and together we were able to supply and produce an elegant finish to this awe-inspiring structure”.
Chris Taylor, Contract Director at Broadley Group