The Beaney Institute

The Beaney Institute

Project brief

A project designed to conserve, repair and restore the existing Beaney Institute in Canterbury city centre. The new extension will double the building’s size, creating more and better space for both museum and library services.

The project

The Beaney Institute is a Victorian building dating back to 1900, specially designed as an art museum and library on Canterbury High Street. The extension to double The Beaney Institute’s size is part of a £11.6 m project part funded by a Heritage Lottery grant.

The building is being redeveloped to provide improved facilities bringing together the museum, art gallery and library.

Help from – Limelite Plaster

Limelite Plaster from the Tarmac Building Products Heritage range was used revive and protect the internal walls throughout the Beaney Institute. Our Limelite Plaster is a pre-mixed, dry, bagged, high performance plaster suitable for a wide range of applications.

Problems faced

The Beaney Institute is a Grade II Listed Building completed in 1899; a Grade II Building is a particularly important building of exceptional interest and is of outstanding importance. It is also a greatly loved building and so the sourcing of both traditional craft traders and suitable materials took time.

An infestation of Death Watch Beetles damaged the old oak framed panelling, attracted to the wet fungal breeding ground . They were only spotted through intrusive surveys which were carried out.


The completed Beaney Institute is opening to the public in the summer of 2012 in Canterbury city centre. Historic and architectural features of The Beaney Institute will be preserved and incorporated into an extended building with greatly improved access and a welcoming atmosphere. Disabled access to the building is a priority and the aim is to improve access throughout and a central glass lift will give people better access to the upper floors.

What the experts say….

“This has been a very interesting project to work on to say the least, but also very rewarding! We have had many difficulties to overcome, including having an infestation of Death-Watch Beetles damaging the old oak frame panelling, but the building is now restored to its full glory of 1899 and looking stunning! ” – Den Daley, Heritage Expert – Wates

Limelite Rennovating Plaster offers the following benefits that made it the ideal choice for the Beaney Institute:

  • Resistant to mould growth.
  • Reduces condensation and inhibits efflorescence.
  • Man-made fibres control shrinkage and improve flexural strength.
  • Grade D impact resistant (High Impact Finishing Plaster).


  • Client: Canterbury City Council
  • Contractor: Wates
  • Architect: Sidell Gibson
  • Location: Canterbury
  • Product: Limelite Plaster