Surveyors’ awards give nod to Richhill and Craigavon

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RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) has announced the shortlist for this year’s RICS Awards 2019, Northern Ireland, which includes nominations for both Richhill and Craigavon.

A record 36 of Northern Ireland’s most innovative and community beneficial property projects have captured the hearts of RICS judges and will now go on to compete in eight categories at this year’s awards ceremony in May.

The eight categories for 2019 are - Building Conservation, Commercial, Community Benefit, Design through Innovation, Infrastructure, Regeneration, Residential and Tourism & Leisure.

In County Armagh, the Richhill Townscape Heritage Initiative is shortlisted in the Building Conservation category. The Blossom Children and Young People’s Centre, Craigavon is for consideration of the Infrastructure award.

The Richhill project was achieved by the inclusion of the community and building of strong relationships with their elected representatives. The efforts, which restored seven properties in Richhill town have made a tangible difference to the morale of the village by the improved physical built environment.

The Blossom Children’s and Young People Centre is a new paediatric ward at Craigavon Area Hospital, offering a 19-bed inpatient ward, a six-bed ambulatory care ward, outpatient department, treatment rooms, interview room and staff support area. The bedrooms have been designed to incorporate fold down beds, to enable parents to stay overnight with their children and the courtyard garden provides a sheltered outdoor space for parents to relax with their children while visiting. Presence and arrival were key factors in the design with the concept rooted in creating an uplifting and playful building.

All category winners go forward to the acclaimed Northern Ireland Project of the Year title, awarded to the scheme that demonstrates outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area.

Last year saw The Tropical Ravine at Botanic Gardens, Belfast, win the esteemed title for restoring the Victorian building to its former glory, with a modern 21st-century twist in order to transform the over-grown plot to a popular tourist attraction.

The awards highlight the great talent involved in shaping the Northern Ireland built environment for now and the future.

Chair of the RICS Awards 2019, Northern Ireland judging panel, Michael Hannaway said: “What’s great about the RICS Awards is that they celebrate and recognise the community impact that these shortlisted property projects are having on their local communities, as well as the talent and collaboration of the teams behind them.”

All Northern Ireland winners go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final in November 2019, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner.