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Gorton Monastery wins top property honour

By Chris Barry - Editor

The restoration of Gorton Monastery, the stunning 19th Century former friary in east Manchester, has been named the top North West building project at the property sector's annual awards.

The Monastery - one of the finest examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture in the world -  which has been saved from ruin by a £6.5m restoration, was crowned Project of The Year by judges at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' 2009 awards.

Seven other projects were awarded prizes at the awards evening held at the City of Manchester Stadium, where the North West’s most impressive buildings and property schemes were commended.

Widely regarded as the region’s property ‘Oscars’, the awards recognise and celebrate inspirational initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment.

The categories included; building conservation, commercial, community benefit, design and innovation, regeneration, residential, sustainability and tourism and leisure.

Gorton Monastery won the overall  Project of the Year accolade – the top-rated award presented to a nominee that excelled across all eight categories and above all other submissions.

The Monastery, once listed as one of the top 100 endangered sites in the world, was awarded the honour for its outstanding entry which scooped the building conservation award. The £6.5m restoration project is now a tourist attraction and also hosts corporate events and weddings.

Other winners on the night were the Liverpool One shopping centre, which won in two categories, and Edge Hill University in Lancashire claimed the award for sustainability. All the winners will be entered into the national RICS awards later this year, where they will compete against building projects from across the UK.

RICS chairman of the judging panel, Andrew Kellaway said: “We have seen some truly inspirational projects this evening, which proves that property professionals across the North West are still showing their innovation, creativity and commitment to sustaining and improving the property landscape.”

Mr Kellaway concluded: “The awards symbolise excellence in the North West property and construction sector and provide an invaluable opportunity for the region to celebrate and showcase its exceptional projects.  There is some fantastic work being done which deserves to be championed and celebrated.”

Category winners at the awards were as follows:

Building conservation

Winner – Gorton Monastery
Highly commended – Birkenhead Park Restoration


Winner – Liverpool One
Highly commended – Piccadilly Plaza

Community benefit

Winner - Altrincham Grammar School for Boys
Highly commended – Picton Neighbourhood Health and Childrens’ Centre

Design and Innovation

Winner – Budenberg Haus Projekte
Highly commended – Piccadilly House


Winner – Liverpool One
Highly commended – Crowcroft at Northmoor


Winner – Parkway Gate
Highly commended – Richmond Hill Salford


Winner – Edge Hill University, Faculty of Health
Highly commended – BDP Manchester Studio

Tourism and Leisure

Winner – The Vincent Hotel
Highly commended – The Midland Hotel

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