Nan Tait Centre
|Nan Tait Centre|
The Nan Tait Centre in July 2007
|Location||Barrow-in-Furness, England, United Kingdom|
|Owner||Cumbria County Council|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Woodhouse and Willoughby|
|Main contractor||W Gradwell and Co.|
The Nan Tait Centre is a Grade II listed building located on Abbey Road in the Hindpool area of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. Designed by architects Woodhouse and Willoughby it was built for the Barrow Corporation as the town's new Technical School. The foundation stone was laid on 26 May 1900 and the school was officially opened three years later on 25 August 1903. The Technical School narrowly escaped Luftwaffe bombing during World War II, although its close neighbour Christ Church was almost completely destroyed in April 1941. In 1970 the technical school was replaced by Thorncliffe School in Hawcoat and as a result was neglected falling into a near dilapidated state, despite this the building was ultimately redeveloped in the early 2000s at a cost of £4 million and was named in honour of Agnes "Nan" Tait (Mayor of the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness from 1959 to 1960). The Nan Tait centre is now multifunctional serving as a cultural, exhibition and arts centre as well as a general office building. The Barracudas carnival band, Dare Dance, Capita Symonds, Barrow Borough Sports Council and Barrow Register Office are all tennants of the centre.
The majority of the Nan Tait Centre is two storey, with the exception of the centrally located domed four storey tower. The building is red brick and terracotta with a slate roof and is noted for its two large east-facing engravings; one panel depicts six robed females underneath the moto 'Ars Longa Vita Brevis', whilst the other bears the moto 'Labor omnia vincit' as well as numerous technology-related scenes. Two large gable ends also face onto Bath Street and the centre's car park.
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