We're delighted to announce our Project of the Year 2017— Gloucester Services in Gloucester — and the other eight category winners for the RICS Awards 2017, South West.

44 of the South West’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the RICS Awards 2017, South West. TV Presenter Melissa Porter hosted this year’s sell-out ceremony, held at Marriott Hotel in Bristol, which attracted almost 250 local property professionals.

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Project of the Year — Gloucester Services

Gloucester Services

The highly acclaimed Project of the Year title is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. Gloucester Services — delivered by Buckingham Group for Gloucester Services — has transformed road-side service stations, creating a blueprint for the future of motorway services.

Created in partnership with a local charity, the Gloucester Gateway Trust, Gloucester Services focussed on social regeneration – ground breaking for any business, let alone a motorway service area. A proportion of its annual revenue, anticipated to be around £10 million over 20 years, will be invested into the communities closest to the services. As a £45 million project employing 400 people, this takes the business’ purpose to a new level. The charity focuses on the communities that surround the service area, which are some of the most deprived in the country.  Regeneration, training, education for the unemployed and help for people in crisis are the key objectives of the trust.

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

Building Conservation: The General, Bristol

The General is the award-winning restoration and conversion of the Grade II listed former Bristol General Hospital that will eventually create 206 new homes. Synonymous with masterful design, imaginative use of space and dedicated craftsmanship, The General combines restoration and new build residential property with a range of commercial premises. Since opening in 2014, it has forged a reputation as one of the most exciting new residential developments in Bristol, setting a benchmark for other developers to aspire to.

  • Highly Commended: St Mary’s Church, High Bickington, Devon

Commercial: 1 Research Way, Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth (sponsored by Sika Sarnafil)

One Research Way provides an impressive gateway to Plymouth Science Park. Its imaginative design is visually striking and flexibly functional, as befits the nature of the high growth-potential science and technology businesses that the campus attracts. Offices may be tailored to individual tenants’ space requirements, and a high proportion of thoughtfully laid-out communal space encourages creative networking between different occupiers. The development furthers Plymouth’s technology legacy from its Naval and marine industries and draws from adjacent medical centres of excellence, giving impetus to a secure commercial future.

Community Benefit: Gloucester Services, Gloucester

The Gloucestershire Gateway Trust identified that over 28 million vehicles and 40 million people per year pass through Gloucestershire on the M5 bringing, pollution, congestion and noise with no economic benefit to some of Gloucestershire’s most deprived areas. The Trust instigated a unique collaboration with the Westmoreland Group (owners of the Tebay services) to produce a community asset. This is a quantum leap in the design and operation of motorway service areas. Employing over 400 mainly local people, supporting over 250 local and regional producers and sustaining six local charities this must be the model for all future motorway service areas

  • Highly Commended: The Cove Macmillan Cancer Support Centre, Truro

Design through Innovation: Arts University Bournemouth, Design Studios & Workshops, Poole (sponsored by Forbo Flooring)

The transformation of two former on-campus halls of residence into modern studio and teaching space for Arts University Bournemouth. The outline brief was to facilitate the transformation of the campus with the re-use of buildings whose original function had become redundant, but whose structure and envelope remained largely sound. The design team demonstrated that the retention of the existing buildings could both achieve delivery of new teaching space each year and at significant saving against that of a new building.

  • Highly Commended: Living Systems Institute, Exeter

Infrastructure: Gloucester Services, Gloucester

Gloucester Services is a motorway services area between junctions 12 and 11a on both the Northbound and Southbound carriageway of the M5 (separate sites). It is unique in combining the local farming family model of Tebay services in the Lake District with a charitable community dimension represented by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust.

Regeneration: Green Park, Bath

Green Park House is a carefully designed, 461-bed, purpose-built student accommodation scheme set within the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bath. Constructed from modular elements, and clad in a faithfully designed, accurately proportioned and detailed Georgian façade, this stunning scheme sits sympathetically within its surroundings.

Residential property: The Quest, Swanage

Completed in 2015, this single-storey house suits the retired clients’ future needs, whilst giving an elegant solution to a steeply sloping site. The house sits lightly in its wooded surroundings, and provides stunning views across the surrounding countryside. The house exemplifies our belief that simplicity and honesty of construction underlie good design. Interior spaces are simply but efficiently laid out, and the house cantilevers over the retaining stone wall to deal with the level changes and views.

  • Highly Commended: The General, Bristol

Tourism & Leisure: Stihl Treetop Walkway, Tetbury

The Silk Wood was the underused gem in the National Arboretum. Difficult to access due to steep inclines for all but the mobile or determined; most visitors missed out on half of what the Arboretum has to offer. The Stihl Treetop Walkway provides level access to this part of the Arboretum and allows visitors to get up close and personal with the tree tops. Interesting and interactive interpretation boards provide an insight into the wood.

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