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Cardigan Castle recognised on UK stage

Cardigan Castle: Nominated for an award

THE REPAIR and conversion of Cardigan Castle has received prestigious recognition on a UK stage – the 2016 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Awards Grand Final.

The prestigious annual contest celebrates the UK’s most inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors that have added real value to the communities they serve.

In a great night for Wales’s built environment, Cardigan Caste was Highly Commended in the Building Conservation category.

The £11million scheme to return the castle to the local community as a viable business was up against stiff competition from across the UK, with Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland winning the category.

Cardigan Castle has been at the centre of the ancient port town of Cardigan since 1176 and was the birthplace of the national Eisteddfod. The castle fell into major disrepair during the 20th century and has now reopened following a 10-year project led by Purcell.

Commenting on Cardigan Castle, which won Project of the Year in the RICS Awards, Wales earlier in the year, RICS judges had said: “Cardigan Castle’s repair and conversion represents the very essence of the RICS Awards, restoring an important part of our built heritage, supporting the local economy, and gaining significant community support. Quite simply, those behind the project have exhibited great vision and understanding in turning a dilapidated scheduled monument into a facility that the local community can rightly be proud of and one which is sure to bring long-term benefits to the locality.”

The Romilly Quarter, Barry which saw a Victorian former Methodist church and Sunday school hall, both Grade II listed, turned into 11 imaginative homes, won the prestigious Residential category RICS Awards Grand Final ahead of major schemes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The building was converted by Brownfield Green Ltd, with surveyor Structural Solutions and architect Emmett Russell Architects, having been derelict until 2014. As well as creating incredibly well-received new homes in a sustainable location, the project has preserved and enhanced a well-loved landmark.

Praising the Romilly Quarter project, RICS judges said: “Romilly Quarter, in the Welsh seaside town of Barry, is a converted Grade II Listed Victorian Methodist Church and Sunday School Hall, providing 11 unique town houses with original features. The buildings were unused for four years and were deteriorating badly with squatters and vandalism. The sympathetic conversion of the buildings and restoration of the stained glass windows, floorboards, beams and stonework (including gargoyles) has preserved and enhanced a local landmark as well as creating fabulous homes which were all snapped up very quickly.”

The winners of the eight national RICS Awards are as follows:

Building Conservation: Mount Stewart, Newtownard (Northern Ireland)
Commercial: Landrover BAR America’s Cup HQ, Portsmouth (South East)
Community Benefit: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool (North West)
Design through Innovation: Black Rock Quarry, Portishead (South West)
Infrastructure: Emergency Care Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead (North East)
Regeneration: Birmingham Gateway & Grand Central, Birmingham (West Midlands)
Residential: Romilly Quarter, Barry (Wales)
Tourism & Leisure: NT Future, South Bank (London)

The highly acclaimed national Project of the Year accolade is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and significant benefit to their local area and wider economy. The £1bn regeneration of Birmingham’s New Street station and its former Pallasades shopping centre – known as the Birmingham Gateway & Grand Central project – took the title for what the judging panel described as the most significant investment in regenerating Birmingham in a generation.

A number of Highly Commended certificates were awarded to schemes across the UK that had demonstrated excellence:

Building Conservation: Cardigan Castle, Cardigan (Wales), Commercial: 51 Hills Road, Cambridge (East), Community Benefit: SPACE Peoples Park, Portadown (Northern Ireland), Design through Innovation: Essex Business School (East), Infrastructure: Pendennis Masterplan Redevelopment, Falmouth (South West), Regeneration: DIY SOS Veterans Village, Manchester (North West), Residential: Rethinking Housing Delivery, Harworth (East Midlands), Tourism & Leisure: Cheltenham Racecourse (South West).

Chair of the RICS Awards Grand Final judging panel, David Tuffin FRICS of Tuffin Ferraby Taylor LLP commented: “Judging the Grand Final is always difficult for our judges as each of these schemes is of an exceptional calibre, having won a category award in their regional RICS Awards heat. I’d like to extend a huge well done to the teams behind the schemes that won, or were highly commended in the Grand Final as these projects are all positively contributing to their local communities and our country’s economy.”

The RICS Awards Grand Final was hosted by Gethin Jones, Broadcaster and TV personality.

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Jon Coles

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