People’s Park scoops double victory at awards ceremony

Alderman Kenneth Twyble, Michael Ruddy and Andrew Haley pictured winning the prize for their regeneration of Peoples Park, Portadown.
Alderman Kenneth Twyble, Michael Ruddy and Andrew Haley pictured winning the prize for their regeneration of Peoples Park, Portadown.

The People’s Park won two awards at the 2016 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards last Friday.

The Shared Process and Community Engagement (SPACE) project came top in the two categories in which it was shortlisted - community benefit and regeneration.

The redeveloped People’s Park opened last year, with the vision that it would be a new and shared space for the whole community.

Aiming to enhance community engagement, the park’s highlights include the construction of an amphitheatre, play areas, a pavilion, synthetic pitches and promotion of environmental activities for schools - as well as improved access from the town centre.

The project was managed by Edmund Shipway, with The Paul Hogarth Company as lead designers, and landscape architects.

Other companies involved included Hamilton Architects, Fox Contracts and White Young Green.

Having scooped the two awards at regional level, the park will now go forward to the overall RICS Awards in London later in the year, alongside the other regional category winners.

The RICS Awards are made up of eight categories from building conservation to tourism and leisure and infrastructure, and some of the country’s most popular new builds and recent restorations were in the spotlight at the ceremony at La Mon Hotel on Friday night.

Ben Collins, RICS director, Northern Ireland said, “The positive impact that innovative buildings, regenerated shared spaces and world-class tourist facilities have on the local economy and society cannot be overstated. Once again, we have seen some of the best new builds, infrastructure projects, community schemes, and restoration initiatives from the last few years take the spotlight at our annual awards, and we are delighted to be able to highlight the exceptional work of the surveyors and other property professionals behind the projects.”

The winner of the Project of the Year was the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, situated in the grounds of Belfast City Hospital. The £32m facility is the latest phase in the configuration of Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences.

In other categories, Lagan Weir Footbridge won the award for infrastructure, while the Galgorm Resort & Spa won the tourism & leisure category, City Quays 1, Belfast won the commercial category, Mount Stewart’s recent restoration won the building conservation category and an eye-catching family home in Portrush, Blacksmith’s Cottage, won top prize in the residential category.