Return of the MAC takes top construction award

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A £15m refurbishment and expansion programme at a Birmingham cultural venue has helped it be named the region’s top project in an annual awards scheme.

The 2011 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards named the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) in Edgbaston as the community benefit category and overall project of the year.

Created in the 1960s, the MAC looks to encourage people to embrace the arts and is home to the ‘sampad’ South Asian arts agency.

It strives to retain strong community engagement and nurture new talent and the redevelopment scheme aimed to expand what the centre could offer the local community.

Judges said: “This expansion and updating of the existing MAC building, as well as the new build additions, have been hugely successful.

“The centre has been very well received by the large numbers of visitors and artists who use the site and it is well linked to the local community.”

The other winners at the 21st RICS Awards were:

Building Conservation
Winner: Brockhampton Estate, Herefordshire
Highly commended: Conservation of the Gatehouse, Stokesay Castle, Shropshire

MAC, Midlands Arts Centre from aboveRegeneration
Winner: Dunston Business Village, Stafford

Sustainability
Winner: Severn Trent Centre, Coventry

Community Benefit
Winner: MAC, Birmingham
Highly commended: Malvern Community Hospital, Worcestershire
RSA Academy, Tipton

MAC (right) and all other categories winners and highly commended projects will represent the region at the national finals in London on October 21.

RICS West Midlands chairman Martin Perks said: “This year, once again, we received an extremely strong selection of entries and the RICS Awards are a great celebration of exemplary projects from across the region.

“There was an exceptionally high calibre of submissions to the community benefit category, and I’d like to congratulate all those involved in the MAC project for their impressive achievement.

“The project greatly deserves this award and I wish them the best of luck for the next stage of the competition.”

The awards ceremony was held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole with Lord John Prescott as guest speaker.

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