Winner due next month

Five firms including Zaha Hadid Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Wilkinson Eyre will find out next month who has won a deal to design a £25m cultural centre on the south coast.

The scheme will include a 300-seat theatre and a 600sq m gallery as well as space for six restuarants and a 90-bed hotel.

Levitt Bernstein and Jestico & Whiles are also chasing the deal which will be built at a site overlooking the Dorset town’s beach.

Client on the scheme, the Bournemouth Development Company (BDC), received 38 expressions of interest for the work which involves turning a car park into a new cultural quarter.

The design brief also calls for any proposal to “conserve and enhance the architectural style of the town as a historic public realm and provide a sense of arrival and place”. The scheme is also intended to improve landscaping and transport links.

The site is situated next to the Lower Gardens and listed Pavilion Theatre with views across Bournemouth Bay to the Purbecks and Old Harry Rock.

Toby Marden, development manager for BDC, said: “We are still at the stage of receiving presentations and have not made any decisions as yet.  An announcement on the appointed architect will be made after the Easter holidays.”

Shortlisted firms are due to make presentations over the next couple of weeks before a winner is picked in April.