Over 45 of the North West’s most impressive and community beneficial property projects battled it out for top honours at the 2018 RICS Awards, North West where three of Greater Manchester’s much-loved built initiatives were recognised as the best in the region in their respective categories.
Held at the Principal Hotel in Manchester, the annual RICS Awards, North West celebrate inspirational initiatives in the region’s land, property and construction sectors across eight category awards.
Phase 2 of regeneration project, Stockport Exchange – which comprises the first Grade-A office to be speculatively developed in Stockport for many years, together with a “top-10 in Europe” Holiday Inn Express – scooped the Commercial property accolade. RICS judges praised the project team – including Aedas RHWL, Cushman & Wakefield, Eric Wright Construction and Muse Developments – for setting a new benchmark for quality buildings in South Manchester and for creating an attractive a vibrant new commercial quarter.
The £27 million Space Studios in West Gorton won the Regeneration award for acting as a catalyst to transforming a deprived neighbourhood – once infamous as the home of the characters on the Channel 4 TV series ‘Shameless’ – with a purpose-built TV production facility for the North of England.
The impetus for the project – delivered by Turner & Townsend, PRP LLP and Vinci Construction – was to increase aspiration amongst the local community leading to employability. RICS judges said it had successfully done just that, providing apprenticeships and free masterclasses that focus on trades related to the sector including set building, joinery, lighting, rigging, special effects, and make-up.
Housing development, Timekeepers Square in Salford won the Residential accolade for its 36 Georgian-style townhouses built around the Grade II listed neo-classical Church of St Phillip’s. Situated in a conservation area, Timekeepers Square is a mix of two, three and four-bedroom stylish properties combining the best of city living and suburbia.
RICS judges said the success of the scheme – which has acted as a catalyst for the next phase of residential development in the area – and the positive response from residents and prospective homeowners, is testament to the collaborative project team which included Buttress Architects, Appleyard and Trew and Carillion.
The winners of all eight individual categories – announced by host, veteran BBC news presenter, Clive Myrie in front of 300 property professionals – are as follows:
- Building Conservation – Moor Hall Restaurant & Rooms, Ormskirk
- Commercial – Stockport Exchange, Stockport
- Community Benefit – Sunbeam Music Centre, Penrith
- Design through Innovation – The Materials Innovation Factory, Liverpool
- Infrastructure – Mersey Gateway Project, Widnes
- Regeneration – Space Studios, Manchester
- Residential – Timekeepers Square, Salford
- Tourism & Leisure – Galloway’s, Morecambe
The highly acclaimed ‘North West Project of the Year’ accolade is presented to the category winner that demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. This year, the title went to the £1.86 billion Mersey Gateway Project – which incorporates a new six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey in Halton and saw significant upgrades to the area’s highways.
RICS Judges praised the team behind the Mersey Gateway Project for not only removing a notorious congestion black-spot in the North West, but making journeys to and from the area much quicker, easier and more reliable. The judges were also highly impressed with the project’s remarkable economic benefits which are expected to be four times greater than its initial cost.
Chair of the judging panel for the RICS Awards, North West, Will Rees, Director at Rees Straw Chartered Surveyors said: “These winning projects are testament to the successful collaboration of the talented teams behind them. Together, their complimentary skills and exceptional vision has not only created some remarkable built schemes which Greater Manchester can be immensely proud of, but they are also having a profoundly positive impact on their local communities.”
All category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final on 2 November 2018 in London, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.