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Manchester’s top community property schemes in the running for ‘Project of the Year’ title

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The Bright Building

Manchester’s top community beneficial property projects dominate this year’s 2018 RICS Awards, North West with a whole host of its newest built schemes shortlisted for prestigious industry accolades including the overall ‘North West Project of the Year’ title.

The annual awards recognise exemplary built projects that are positively contributing to the region and this year over 45 schemes of all sizes and budgets – from across the North West – are in with a chance of gaining acclaimed industry recognition, along with the teams behind them.

The restoration – and in some cases the conversion – of four of Manchester’s oldest historic builds are in the running for the Building Conservation award. These are: The Mackie Mayor’ building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which has been converted into a multi-tenanted food and beverage market, Gorton Monastery and the conservation of its altars and surrounding surfaces, along with the conversion of the Unitarian Chapel on Upper Brook Street into high quality student accommodation. Meanwhile the restoration of Manchester Cathedral and the installation of a beautiful Stoller Organ will also compete for the Building Conservation award.

The Bright Building –  the first new development to be completed within BDP’s masterplan for Manchester Science Park (MSP) – is up for the Commercial property accolade for its striking yet open collaborative-hub for the wider MSP community. It will face competition from Phase Two of Stockport Exchange (the first Grade A office in Stockport for many years, along with a Holiday Inn Express) and Market Place – a £20 million contemporary shopping, dining and leisure destination – in the heart of Bolton.

A 24-hour Extra Care Scheme in Whthenshawe – known as Village 135 – developed by Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (WCHG) with 135 luxury two-bedroom apartments has been shortlisted for the Community Benefit award (along with Gorton Monastery). Limelight – a pioneering project within the heart of the Old Trafford master plan area, which offers housing for older people with primary care and council services – will also compete for the Community Benefit accolade.

The Space Studios – a £27 million purpose-built TV production facility for the North of England – on Vaughn street is in the running for the Regeneration award. It will face competition from the Mackie Mayor’s building, Phase Two of Stockport Exchange and The Maples and Maple Court –  a development of three-bed houses and 34 apartments with commercial units – in Sale.

Lastly, Redrow’s 361 modern, desirable, high-spec new homes (which cost £40 million to construct/deliver) in Moston & Harpurhey will compete for the Residential award, along with Village 135, Limelight and a number of Salford-based housing projects including Fir Street and Langworthy Road, Slate Yard and Time Keepers Square, along with Peter Moss in Levenshulme.

The RICS Awards, North West have eight categories: Building Conservation, Commercial property, Community Benefit, Design through Innovation, Infrastructure, Regeneration, Residential and Tourism & Leisure.

Those shortlisted for category awards will automatically be considered for the highly esteemed ‘North West Project of the Year’ title, presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. Last year, the title went to the £37m scheme to convert the grade II listed Oldham Town Hall into an eight-screen Odeon cinema with a contemporary restaurant complex, whilst safeguarding the building’s future.

All category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final on November 2018, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.

Chair of the RICS Awards, North West judging panel, Will Rees, Director at Rees Straw Chartered Surveyors said: “Despite ups and downs in the current climate, our region’s property professionals continue to deliver exemplary, and in many cases, world-class built projects that are having a profoundly positive impact on our cities and towns.

“I am delighted to see so many of these remarkable built initiatives in Manchester and its surrounding areas, on this year’s shortlist for the 2018 RICS Awards, North West. The exceptional talent and skills of the teams and surveyors behind these schemes is nothing short of remarkable, and I wish them all the best of luck in gaining the recognition they deserve for ensuring their local communities remain fantastic places to live, work, and visit.”