1st October 2014

Three council schemes on awards shortlist

THREE major schemes recently completed by Leicester City Council have won a place on the shortlist of a prestigious architectural awards scheme.

The food hall at Leicester Market, the King Richard III Visitor Centre and Dock – which provides workspace for hi-tech start-up businesses – have all been shortlisted in the ProCon Leicestershire 2014 Awards.

The bright and airy new space for meat, fish and fresh produce at Leicester Market – designed by Greig & Stephenson and constructed by Kier for Leicester City Council – is one of three projects to be shortlisted in the ‘regeneration project of the year’ category of the ProCon Leicestershire 2014 Awards.  Replacing the 1970s indoor market hall that was no longer fit for purpose, the contemporary glass, steel and timber building opened to the public in May.  Since then, traders have reported significant increases in both footfall and takings – and the council has noted new interest from potential investors in the areas around the market.  “We all know that Leicester Market is one of the city’s treasures,” said City Mayor Peter Soulsby.  “But this new food hall and the other planned improvements we’re making will help it realise its huge potential – attracting both shoppers and visitors to the market, while encouraging the regeneration of the shops and buildings in the conservation area that surrounds it.  “I’m very proud that the building has been shortlisted for this award because it acknowledges the contribution the food hall will make to the regeneration of this key location.”

Shortlisted in the ‘large non-residential scheme of the year’ category are both the King Richard III Visitor Centre and Dock.

Commissioned by the city council, designed by Maber Architects and constructed by Morgan Sindall plc, the new visitor centre has already welcomed more than 15,000 visitors since opening to the public in July.  The former grammar school has been fully renovated, with a new build sensitively incorporating the archaeology of the medieval friary and the grave where the King’s remains were discovered.  Locally-sourced materials have been used throughout the scheme, creating a high quality environment for visitors and an appropriate setting for Richard’s story.

At Pioneer Park in Leicester, Dock provides a range of workspaces for science and technology businesses, as well as communal spaces to promote collaboration.  Designed by Maber Architects and constructed by Willmott Dixon Construction, the building includes an innovative zinc cladding to represent a hi-tech future.  Since opening in November 2013, DOCK has already met its two-year target, achieving an occupation rate of 60% – 24 resident businesses – in just 11 months.  The building has also been shortlisted in the ‘sustainable development of the year’ category.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The King Richard lll Visitor Centre and Dock are very different buildings, but both are excellent examples of stunning design, appropriate to their surroundings, that also meet the needs of their users, and both deserve their place on this shortlist”.

The Leicestershire ProCon Awards take place each year to recognise architectural excellence within Leicester and Leicestershire.

The winners of all the categories will be announced at an awards ceremony at the King Power stadium on 13 November.

[Source: Leicester City Council]

See also:

Our news item on the opening of the Food Hall

Our news item on the opening of the Richard III visitor centre