We're delighted to announce our Project of the Year — Derby Arena — and the other six category winners for the RICS Awards, East Midlands 2016.

Over 350 delegates attended this year’s RICS Awards, East Midlands, in a record breaking evening, held at Kelham Hall in Newark on Thursday 21 April. The awards — established to celebrate the inspirational initiatives across the built environment — bring people together across all sectors to celebrate the region’s most innovative projects.

Project of the Year — Derby Arena

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The highly acclaimed Project of the Year title is presented to the scheme which demonstrates outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to the local area. Our judges felt Derby Arena was this year’s worthy winner of the accolade as it sets a new standard for local authority sports design and provides an aspirational and invigorating destination providing Derby with a dynamic building sure to become one of the city's icons.

Nominated by both FaulknerBrown and Bowmer & Kirkland, the impressive outer appearance is more than matched by the facilities it has to offer within it. The world class velodrome, together with the flexible design of the infield areas, means that its primary objective of encouraging people into physical activity, with a particular focus on cycling, has been exceeded. The adaptability of the infield areas allows the venue to host a range of activities, from pop concerts to electoral elections, assuring the building’s future success.

As a new landmark for the city, Derby Arena also scooped the Design through Innovation and Tourism and Leisure categories.

Winners, and highly commended entries, from the six other categories are:

Building Conservation

Revitalising the Stableyard, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

Hardwick Hall is widely recognised as one of the great surviving examples of Elizabethan architecture in the UK. However, few visitors to the hall previously ventured to the south of the site far enough to see the handsome south and west ranges of the Stableyard. The stables have served the hall for centuries, and the architecturally impressive buildings of the Stableyard’s south range can be read as a reflection of the way in which the hall’s livery has been serviced and the way in which the estate’s farmland has been managed.

Commercial

Leicester Food Park, Leicestershire

Leicester Food Park is a specialist £5.5 million development aimed at encouraging investment in Leicester’s food and drink sector. The park comprises of 19,250 sq ft of high quality bespoke food grade units ranging in size from 1,000 to 5,000 sq ft to house a range of business sizes. Built on a former brownfield site in North Leicester, the park was designed to accommodate more than 35 businesses, including established firms in the sector and start-ups looking for room to grow.

  • Highly commended: Marquis Place, Leicestershire

Community Benefit

Soft Touch Arts, Leicestershire

Soft Touch Arts is an award-winning charity using arts, music and media to engage and help disadvantaged young people. In 2015, Soft Touch, alongside Smallman & Son and rg+p Ltd completed a £1.1 million refurbishment and extension of 50 New Walk to create a flagship youth arts and heritage centre. Officially opened by HRH Prince Edward, today Soft Touch Arts encompasses music studios, performance space, art and craft areas, healthy eating kitchen and digital production suites and is used by 1,000 young people annually.

  • Highly commended: Jerry Green Dog Rehoming Centre, Nottinghamshire

Design through Innovation

  • Winner: Derby Arena, Derbyshire
  • Highly commended: University of Derby Sports Centre, Derbyshire

Infrastructure

Northampton Castle Train Station, Northamptonshire

The centre piece and catalyst to the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone regeneration is the new station facility designed by CJCT. Opened in January 2015, following a £20 million investment, Northampton Castle Station provides a welcoming, modern and fully accessible environment for customers. As part of a bid with Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd in the summer of 2012, West Northampton Development Corporation and Network Rail re-tendered the proposed scheme due to funding cuts and a desire to realise a best value station for Northampton town.

Regeneration

Heart of the Campus, Nottingham Trent University, Northamptonshire

Nottingham Trent University’s Heart of the Campus project at their Clifton campus, is a combination of modern student facilities and exceptional teaching accommodation. The redevelopment includes the dramatic Pavilion, providing two levels of social study space, enclosed learning spaces, pods and collaborative booths and a barista. A colonnade links Pavilion with the fantastic new teaching and learning building, and a new plaza completes the development featuring attractive planting and seating areas. The buildings opened on Monday 21 September 2015.

  • Highly commended: The Crescent, Hinckley, Leicestershire

Residential

Rethinking Housing Delivery — Bassetlaw District Council, A1 Housing & Woodhead Living, Nottinghamshire

The three year project will see Woodhead Living deliver 71 new homes to Bassetlaw in the first major social housing project in the district for 35 years. New homes will replace the non-traditional airey houses — a pre-fabricated house built in the 1950/60s — which the A1 Housing tenants are currently living in. This application is specifically for phase I of the project, which comprised demolition to allow access to the former playing field and the construction of initially 19, rising to 25, new homes.

  • Highly commended: Green Street Phase II, Nottinghamshire

Tourism & Leisure

  • Winner: Derby Arena, Derbyshire
  • Highly commended: University of Derby Sports Centre, Derbyshire

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