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Another top award for Raidió Fáilte building

AWARD: Raidió Fáilte on Divis Street AWARD: Raidió Fáilte on Divis Street
By Staff Reporter

THE Raidió Fáilte headquarters on Divis Street has been named the top Community Benefit project at the RICS Awards 2019, which celebrate the top, community-led built projects and the talent behind them.
Completed in October 2018, the new Raidió Fáilte hub is home to an Irish-language community radio station that broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At the new base, they provide education, vocational training, volunteering opportunities and a platform for other community based initiatives stretching out to the Gaelic speaking population of Ulster and beyond. The hub has been viewed as having a directly positive effect on the lives of those in the local area.
RICS judges commended “the Raidió Fáilte team’s clear commitment to community engagement and enrichment programmes, facilitated by their new building”.
The project faced tough competition in the strong category, including Spórtlann na hÉireann at Coláiste Feirste on the Falls Road, the Windsor-Olympia Sports Hub in South Belfast and Omagh Integrated Primary and Nursery School, which picked up a Highly Commended certificate.
Chair of the RICS Awards 2019 Northern Ireland judging panel, Michael Hannaway said: “The McGurks Architects and Cleary Contracting project team have not only a visually impressive building but one which serves great purpose.
“Situated in an area of high social deprivation and on a site, which had previously been a hub for antisocial behaviour, the award winning Raidió Fáilte team have worked tirelessly to build an enviable and innovative facility.
“On the junction of the Falls Road and the Westlink motorway, it is considered the gateway into West Belfast and the Gaeltacht Quarter. Judges commented that the Raidió Fáilte/Líonra Uladh headquarters is a leading example of how design, client passion and strategic vision can deliver real and lasting community benefit.”
Upon receiving the award, Colm McGurk of McGurks Architects expressed his gratitude to the project team and said it was fantastic to have a physical structure dedicated to broadcasting the Irish language in Belfast.
The top prize of the night, the Project of the Year 2019, went to those involved in the Mourne Wall Restoration Project. The extensive works has brought the wall back to its original condition as it would have been over 100 years ago. Consisting of over 600 repairs along the entire 22 mile length, the Geda Construction, RPS Group and NI Water project team were commended for their collaborative approach and for blending of traditional skills and craftsmanship with modern surveying techniques.
Hosted by Paul Clarke MBE, the RICS Awards 2019 Northern Ireland were held last Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast and the winners of all eight were announced as:
– Building Conservation – Mourne Wall Restoration Project, Co Down
– Commercial – River House, Belfast
– Community Benefit – Raidió Fáilte / Líonra Uladh, Belfast
– Design through Innovation – DAERA, Ballykelly
– Infrastructure – The Blossom Children’s & Young People Centre, Craigavon Area Hospital
– Regeneration – Let’s Go Hydro, Carryduff
– Residential – Northland Road Residential Development, Derry
– Tourism & Leisure – Grand Central Hotel, Belfast
A number of Highly Commended certificates were also handed out on the night to Omagh Integrated Primary and Nursery School (Community Benefit), and Milewater Road Service Centre, Belfast (Infrastructure).
Mr Hannaway commented: “A broad range of creative and inspiring projects, of all sizes and budgets, made the record-breaking shortlist this year in Northern Ireland, highlighting the great talent involved in shaping our built environment. The winners are representative of the best of our industry and include the most innovative projects that are having such a strong contribution on their local communities. The teams behind the winning projects, and indeed all our shortlisted projects, should be proud of their achievements and positive impacts within the region.
All category winners will go on to compete against other regional winners at the national RICS Awards Grand Final on Friday 4 October at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category.

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