Welsh building projects that have had most beneficial impact on their local communities have been shortlisted for a new award by RICS (Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors).
The shortlisted construction schemes in the RICS Social Impact Awards, Wales include:
- Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea: a refurbishment and restoration of a Grade II listed arts facility in Wales’ second city, the work delivered new community, café and education space as well as renovating the existing building that originated from 1911.
- Holyhead Market Hall: purchased through a compulsory purchase order from the local council, the abandoned historic building was repurposed into a community library and activity centre, with work enabling the delivery of new education, IT and support services for residents.
- Silvervale Park, Cardiff: part of an innovative partnership between the council and Wates, the Silvervale project is part of the Cardiff Living Programme, contributing 192 new homes for open market sale, rent and low-cost home ownership. The programme has been responsible for creating 66 apprenticeships for local people, supported over 4,000 students and seen 85% of the supply chain sourced from SMEs in the nearby area.
The 21 construction projects from across Wales will be judged and voted on by an expert panel of RICS members and other experts based on their role in transforming communities and the everyday lives of people.
The awards are divided into nine award categories to include the best examples of development in the commercial, education, healthcare, heritage, infrastructure, land and rural, leisure, residential and student accommodation sectors, with an overall winner also due to be announced.
The winners will be announced at the RICS Wales ceremony on 22 April.
A UK grand final will be held in September for those successfully nominated from each region, with property expert David Brooks Wilson leading a panel of guest judges to select those projects worthy of the top award.
Susan Mason of RICS in Wales said:
“The real estate industry plays a vital role in Wales, and our refreshed awards celebrates the positive impact that our professionals can have on people's lives and the best of what is built.
“This year’s shortlist features some of the best talent in our profession, and the new Social Impact Awards recognises the significant value these projects have brought to the communities around them. The judges will have their work cut out deciding on who gets the top award with so many top projects involved.
“I’m also delighted to be supporting The Prince’s Trust in getting young people into construction. Our shortlists showcase projects which have been turning people’s lives around, whether that’s through apprenticeships for young people, rehabilitating ex-offenders or regenerating towns and cities to make them more inclusive, and we hope that promoting these will encourage more talent into a profession that can really make a difference.”
Chair of the award judging panel David Brooks Wilson said:
“The real estate sector is an important part of our economy, and this year’s shortlist shows the power of built environment professionals to make a positive impact on society and our communities.
“It features the breadth of work and contributions that our professionals and wider industry make and the difference this profession can make.”