A project to maintain and improving key transport links for communities in the Inner Hebrides and the regeneration of a previously neglected corner of Edinburgh’s Old Town Conservation Area have scooped the Project of the Year titles in the Infrastructure and Regeneration categories in the 2017 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards Grand Final.
The Wemyss Bay Pier Walkway and the New Waverley project were among the eight category winners from this year’s RICS Awards, Scotland – which recognised the most inspiring and community beneficial built initiatives from around the country.
They were automatically entered in to the RICS Awards Grand Final, where they competed against more than 95 regional winners for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.
Taking the Infrastructure Award, the Wemyss Bay Pier Walkway project saw Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited carry out a comprehensive upgrade and refurbishment of the existing Grade-A Listed timber walkway, which dates back to 1903. Judges were impressed by the resultant rise in vehicular and pedestrian traffic to the Isle of Bute, and the project’s wider benefits to communities living in the Inner Hebrides.
Lorna Spencer, director of Harbours at CMAL, said: “This is fantastic recognition for our team and our partners and is further evidence of the hard work and commitment we invested to ensure we retained the original character of the historic building. The Grade A nature of the walkway made this a particularly challenging project.
“In addition, during the project period, we battled a lot of inclement weather, with no less than 10 storms hitting the pier during the winter months.
“Passengers are now enjoying the benefits of a beautifully refurbished terminal and pier that provides a safe, efficient and reliable ferry service.”
In the Regeneration category, the New Waverley in Edinburgh saw Artisan Real Estate Investors take over the seven-acre gap-site linking Waverley Station to the Royal Mile, creating a vibrant new district which is helping reintegrate a much-neglected part of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town back into the heart of the city centre. The judges were particularly impressed with the innovative use found for the now New Waverley Arches. The project as also focused heavily on engagement with the local community and surrounding businesses, enhancing local relationships and unlocking the enormous potential of one of Edinburgh’s prime regeneration areas.
RICS Scotland director Gail Hunter, said: “These projects are worthy winners of national recognition, and show the finest innovation and professionalism that those working in Scotland’s built environment sector have to offer.
“The Wemyss Bay and New Waverley projects have delivered tangible and long-lasting benefits to their local communities. From the improvement in access to the Hebrides to the regeneration of an important area in Edinburgh, which is a World Heritage site, these projects have enhanced not only the built environment but the lives of those affected by them.
“The teams at behind both these exemplary projects should be incredibly proud of their success at these awards, which are a worthy testament to their hard work, dedication and professionalism.”
The 2017 RICS Awards Grand Final was held at the InterContinental London, Park Lane Hotel and was hosted by BBC Breakfast News and Sport Anchor, Dan Walker.