People, Places, Business

Harbourside wins award

Harbourside wins prestigious Regeneration award

TWI Harbourside

Harbourside’s R&D Village development in Port Talbot has won a top honour at the RICS Wales Awards ceremony in Cardiff.

Harbourside is one of the Council’s key regeneration projects at the gateway to the Swansea Bay City Region.

The multi million pound redevelopment of Port Talbot’s former docks quarter will transform the area into a new knowledge focused business hub, creating hundreds of skilled jobs.

There are also proposals for a future residential and leisure offering which will sit adjacent to the dockside and river corridor.

The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Awards celebrate the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment.

The Regeneration Award showcases exceptional improvements to urban, rural or coastal areas. Judges look for a scheme that has conserved or improved the built or natural environment in a way that has contributed to the viability of the area.

The awards are not judged purely on the building that has been submitted; they are about the project as a whole. The judging panel takes into consideration the impact the project has had on its surrounding community, how the end user feels about it and what really makes it stand out from the rest.

The £6.3m R&D village at Harbourside Park opened in summer 2013 and provides a new centre for innovation, research and development.  Promoted primarily to appeal to companies operating within the manufacturing, engineering and materials sectors, current tenants include leading global companies TWI UK Ltd and Tata Steel Europe.

Both of these companies had a great deal of input in terms of specifying their technical requirements of the buildings. This has enabled world leading research and product development activities to be delivered to international companies, raising the profile of Port Talbot’s Harbourside as a key location for R&D businesses.

The Harbourside project has provided exceptional improvements to a previous brownfield site, providing fantastic looking new buildings which are the highest rated BREEAM offices in the UK.

BREEAM is the ‘Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology’ is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings.

The three two-storey buildings were designed by Rio Architects and developed by Deryn Properties, in conjunction with main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and a design team that included NYTC Consult Ltd, CD Gray Associates and Hoare Lea. The project was part financed by the Welsh Government via the European Regional Development Fund and Principality Commercial.

Harbourside is already home to HMCS Justice Centre and the redevelopment of Port Talbot Parkway Station makes the site a key location for other developments offering employment opportunities. Neath Port Talbot College have also announced plans for their new campus to be built at Harbourside.

Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council Cllr Ali Thomas said: “Port Talbot Harbourside’s R&D Village is a fantastic development and one of several significant projects which the Council is working alongside partners to deliver as part of its ‘Prosperity for All’ regeneration programme. The R&D village is already bringing huge economic benefits to the local area and is set to attract further investment into a formerly vacant industrial site. I am extremely pleased and proud to see that the quality of this development is now being recognised nationally with this RICS award”.

David Stacey, of the developer Deryn Properties, said: “The award is excellent news and the result of a great team effort by all concerned; a design team that understood the challenge and stepped up to the mark, a funding bank that believed  in the project, the WEFO team who helped overcome many hurdles and Neath Port Talbot Council who were receptive, helpful and supportive throughout”.

Harbourside will now be entered in to the UK RICS awards held in October 2014 in London, where it will compete against other projects from the UK.