We're delighted to announce our Project of the Year, North West — the £37 million transformation of Oldham’s Town Hall into a quality family entertainment and dining destination — along with the winners and highly commended for the 2017 RICS Awards, North West.

Over 40 of the North West’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the 2017 RICS Awards, North West. The BBC's TV and Radio presenter Jason Mohammed was the host for this year’s sell-out ceremony — held at the Titanic Hotel, Liverpool — which attracted over 300 local property professionals.

View the winners' brochure

Project of the Year — Oldham Town Hall, Oldham (sponsored by Sika Sarnafil Plus)

Oldham Town Hall

The redevelopment of Oldham Town Hall – which had fallen into disrepair and was named in Britain’s top ten most endangered buildings in 2009 – has not only created a state-of-the-art family entertainment and dining destination, complete with an Odeon cinema and popular eateries; it’s also incorporated public realm improvements and helped to regenerate and breathe new life into the town centre.

The judges praised the project team - BDP Architects, Mace Cost Consultancy and Morgan Sindall –  for creating what they described as an attractive, valuable community gem, whilst painstakingly restoring as much of the building’s original features as possible, which has safeguarded its long-term future.

Winners & Highly Commended

Building Conservation - Birkenhead Priory Conservation Repairs, Birkenhead

The £600k repair of Birkenhead Priory - delivered by Ainsley Gommon Architects, Paragon Construction,  and Aura Conservation –  has restored the oldest standing building in Merseyside along with its listed buildings on the site. Visitor facilities and attractions have been improved, including access, parking, the undercroft museum and St Mary's tower.

The judges acknowledged the united approach between passionate volunteers, skilled craftsmen and the local authority as key to the success of revitalising Birkenhead Priory. It now offers wider views over the Wirral and Liverpool which will help attract the visitor numbers the site truly deserves.

  • Highly Commended: St Cuthbert’s, Kentmere

Commercial - One Cathedral Square, Blackburn

 This £30 million striking new office building within the Blackburn Cathedral Quarter has provided tenants with attractive, yet highly energy efficient offices. RICS judges praised the project team behind the Grade A office development – which included BDP Architects, Eric Wright Group and Maple Grove Developments working with Blackburn Darwen Council – for ensuring running costs are kept low for tenants, thanks to a number of ‘green’ measures, including photovoltaic panels, earning the development a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Community Benefit (sponsored by HAYS) - Crewe Lifestyle Centre, Crewe

Crewe’s new £16 million Lifestyle Centre provides modern and inclusive leisure, library, family and adult social care provision, along with a range of other quality community facilities, for residents of all ages and backgrounds.

The judges recognised that the centre – which includes a 25m swimming pool and a world class fitness suite - has provided a stimulus to wider employment and education in the area. They also praised the project team – which included Currie and Brown, Kier North and Pozzoni Architecture Ltd, working with Cheshire East Council – for creating an innovative, energy efficient and fabric savvy building, uniquely designed through extensive stakeholder and community consultation.

Design through Innovation (sponsored by Forbo Flooring Systems) - Oldham Town Hall, Oldham

 Oldham Town Hall is a unique re-use project which ingeniously integrates a state-of-the-art family entertainment and dining destination within a complex and ornate neo-classical former Town Hall building. Set within a new landscaped public space, the scheme has succeeded in providing a catalyst for further regeneration of the retail and cultural quarters of the historic town centre, and in saving a landmark Grade II listed building, 175 years after it was originally built.

Infrastructure (sponsored by WYG) - Ordsall Chord (Northern Hub), Manchester

 The biggest rail project in the north of England for decades – Orsdall Chord will link Manchester’s three principal train stations together for the first time, offering major benefits including reduced journey times, more train services and improved regeneration.

RICS judges said the £85 million project - a Skanska-BAM Nuttall joint venture which is part of Network Rail’s £1 billion+ rail upgrade plan for the North of England - will transform journeys for local residents and attract more visitors, through greatly improving the area’s rail connectivity, resulting in faster, easier journeys for passengers. The centerpiece of the project, the network arch bridge, is the world’s first asymmetric network arch.

  • Highly Commended: Pendleton Together, Salford

Regeneration - Oldham Town Hall, Oldham

Oldham Town Hall is a Grade II listed historic building situated in the centre of Oldham - a 19th Century industrial town in the North West - which has since lost its traditional cotton spinning industry, and was recently named the most deprived borough in England.

The rebirth of the building as a cinema and dining destination has been received extremely well by locals and visitors from further afield, and has helped create jobs and breathe new life into the town centre. RICS judges said the ornate complexity of the historic building - originally built in 1841 - and the dramatic new ‘light-box’ extension provides a wonderful and appropriately theatrical backdrop to Odeon cinema's new home in Oldham.

  • Highly Commended: Pendleton Together, Salford

Residential property - Hayescroft, Manchester

 This gated development of 17 stunning, yet highly sustainable, detached- and semi-detached houses in Didsbury is surrounded by eight acres of beautiful private grounds, comprising woodland and a lake. Designed by Calder Peel Architects and delivered by PH Property (DCI) Holdings Ltd and Premier Guarantee, the homes are inspired by the grand Victorian villas which characterise the village of Didsbury.

Named after famous Mancunians such as The Dalton, The Chetham, The Pankhurst, RICS judges said the houses have been given a contemporary twist with clever detailing. Sash style windows and high ceilings pay homage to the past, yet the modern stonework and interiors of the homes has brought them into the 21st century.

Tourism & Leisure - Workington Leisure Centre, Workington

 Allerdale Borough Council’s new £12 million Workington Leisure Centre opened in September last year and drew in over 50,000 more new visitors in just four months compared to its dilapidated predecessor. The striking centre - designed by GT Architects and delivered by Pick Everard and Robertson Contractors – offers a host of quality fitness facilities including a 25m competition pool, learner pool, four court sports hall, two squash courts and a climbing frame.

The facility has seen a significant increase in users from the local area, and it is attracting visitors from further afield too. Overall, RICS judges said it is an excellent modern leisure centre, which could act as a template for other towns.

View the winners' brochure

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