Daniella Johnson

5th March 2018

RICS Awards Shortlisting 2018

Leeds based architects, Brewster Bye, has two projects shortlisted in the prestigious 2018 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Yorkshire & Humberside Awards.

The Old Fire Station, Gipton is shortlisted in the community benefit category.The ambitious project saw a redundant fire station transformed into a state of the art, multi-purpose community centre that now offers a vast range of services to residents in Gipton and surrounding areas. The cost of the project was funded by Jimbo’s Fund, which was established with local charity Leeds Community Foundation by the late Leeds businessman and philanthropist Jimi Heselden. Born and brought up in East Leeds, Jimi went on to run a number of successful businesses but never forgot the importance of ‘giving back’ to his local community.

The building is owned by GFS Community Enterprise, which is a subsidiary of Leeds Community Foundation, and is occupied by a number of local charities as well as offering a community café, a teaching kitchen, an enterprise hub, community space and meeting rooms for hire.

In addition, Fern House at Bingley is shortlisted in the residential category.The 84,000 square foot scheme was built on the site of the former Bingley Hospital and is now one of the UK’s most advanced extra care and dementia centres.It was developed by The Abbeyfield Society and is operated by Abbeyfield The Dales, which provides housing, support and care for people in later life across Yorkshire.

The development includes 49extra care apartments and a residential suite, complete with 30 en-suite bedrooms which is dedicated to supporting people living with dementia.It also offers a multi-storey entrance atrium, restaurant, hair and beauty salon, rooftop lounge with spectacular views across the Aire Valley and landscaped courtyard garden areas.

Brewster Bye’s Managing Director, Chris Austin, says: “Both these projects pushed the boundaries in terms of design and innovation.Fern House was designed to complement the local streetscape, whilst being extremely functional, modern and light.It’s set a new benchmark in terms of quality and specification, with a superb range of facilities, which has created a wonderful living environment.

“The Old Fire Station injected new life into a stunning building that has played an important role locally for almost 80 years.The design has retained as much of the building’s original character as possible, so that it’s still recognisable as once being a fire station.It’s now a fantastic asset for the area and a project that we’re extremely proud to be associated with.”

Karen Devonport Finance Director Leeds Community Foundation, says: “The Old Fire Station is one of the most significant projects Leeds Community Foundation has ever undertaken. When we embarked on the scheme, it was vitally important to maintain the character of the building, whilst making it an enticing destination that people would be eager to visit again and again.It’s special architectural design style has been key to achieving this and the building isnow making a big difference to so many people within the local community and beyond, which is fantastic for everyone involved.”

The RICS Awards are the premier property and construction awards in the country, designed to recognise the most innovative projects in the region and their impact on local communities.The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday 11th May at Elland Road’s Centenary Pavilion.