Cheltenham Racecourse Gallops Past the Post as Project of the Year


The redevelopment of Cheltenham Racecourse has been crowned the overall Project of the Year in the RICS South West Awards 2016.


And projects from across Somerset, Bristol, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall were announced as category winners at the ceremony in Bristol last night (18 May).

The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment and the 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.

The project, which was also the winner of the Tourism and Leisure category, involved the redevelopment of the sporting facilities into a new complex with the Princess Royal Grandstand as centrepiece, an amphitheatre around the parade ring and new hospitality venues.

This project is a major redevelopment of the north side of Cheltenham Racecourse to provide an innovative new stand, facing four ways to take in the parade ring, with significantly enhanced circulation and facilities for race goers. The works completed on time, to budget and with no significant effect on the operation of the racecourse. The judges felt this was an exceptional and truly collaborative project between the Jockey Club, Kier and the architects.

Judging panel

The other category winners

Building Conservation – Belmont, Lyme Regis, Dorset
This project returned the 18th century maritime villa to its original form. It is the former home of author John Fowles who wrote The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Commercial – 2 Glass Wharf, Bristol
This development within the city’s Enterprise Zone is part of Bristol’s post-recession growth and provides six floors of office space with retail and restaurant facilities on the ground floor.

Community Benefit – Genesis Building, Plymouth, Devon
The new business centre is now occupied by new and established businesses, community interest companies and social enterprises and boasts the South West’s largest living wall made up of more than 18,000 plants.

Design through Innovation – Black Rock Quarry, Portishead, Somerset
The development of the Specialist Training Centre for Avon and Somerset Police in the base of the disused Black Rock Quarry provides a firing range, tactical training areas and office accommodation.

Infrastructure – Pendennis Masterplan Redevelopment, Falmouth, Cornwall
Pendennis Shipyard has replaced the previous facilities with larger construction halls, workshops and offices together with a tidally controlled wet basin providing extensive and accessible superyacht new build and refit facilities.

Regeneration – Twerton Mill Student Accommodation, Bath, Somerset
The development of 330 student bedrooms in self-contained studio flats and shared townhouses and incorporating the old mill wall and gates.

Residential – Springfield Farm, Bath, Somerset
The development replaces a 1950s bungalow in the Bath and Bristol Green Belt with a contemporary two-storey house fitting in with the rural environment.

The ‘highly commended’ projects

Building Conservation – St John the Baptist, Yeovil, Somerset
The church’s mediaeval tower has undergone a major programme of external stone repair following a period of decline.

Commercial – Bristol Water HQ, Bristol
Extension and ‘back to shell’ refurbishment of the 1960s headquarters to maintain the look and character of the building while enhancing the thermal insulation.

Community Benefit – Keynsham Civic Centre & One Stop Shop, Keynsham, Somerset
The redevelopment replaces outdated 1960s buildings with a new council office and library plus shops located around two new pedestrian streets and a market square.

Design through Innovation – Limpley Stoke Eco House, Bath, Somerset
A sustainable family home with innovative use of natural materials such as thermal insulation provided by straw bales and a living ‘green’ sedum roof.

Infrastructure – Bridport Household Recycling Centre, Bridport, Dorset
The new household waste recycling and transfer facility is integrated within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and supports the surrounding biodiversity of a designated Site of Nature Conservation Interest.

Regeneration – Ruskin Close & Wordsworth Drive, Taunton. Somerset
A residential regeneration scheme of affordable housing in the town centre providing 66 sustainable apartments with photovoltaic panels.

Residential – Windmill House, Fowey, Cornwall
A new-build, mixed-tenure scheme which includes 12 spacious apartments for people of 55+ years and associated communal facilities  open to local older people.

Tourism & Leisure – Somerset County Cricket Ground, Taunton, Somerset
The new Somerset Pavilion comprises covered seating behind the bowlers arm, a bar and entertainment area, corporate and media facilities and a roof top viewing area.

Every year the RICS South West Awards attract a significant number of quality entries and this year was no different. Selecting the shortlist was a challenge as the talent, vision and exceptional skills behind them was nothing short of remarkable. It goes without saying that our judging panel of nine industry experts found deciding upon the eight category winners particularly tough.

Lynn Robinson, RICS Regional Director UK South

Forty five schemes from the South West were shortlisted across the eight categories and a record number of guests attended the presentation ceremony at the Bristol Marriott Hotel hosted by ‘Homes under the Hammer’ presenter Martin Roberts.

Category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final in London on 14 October.