Three University projects crowned winners at construction awards

The University of Manchester is celebrating winning three awards at the North West Regional Construction Awards. Competing against many regional nominees, Jodrell Bank and Manchester Museum were among the award winners at a ceremony in Liverpool.

The First Light Pavilion project was honoured with two separate awards; the Innovation award, along with the Cheshire, Wirral and Warrington sub-regional Project of the Year.

The First Light Pavilion is an unusually complex project, with many structural and methodological challenges, which required innovative solutions. The need for the development of a full-scale prototype required intense collaboration and teamwork, to deliver this project - including the first concrete dome constructed in the UK for over 25 years. The project has been delivered on time, under-budget, and with economic and social value exceeding initial targets.

The ambitious project will be open to the public in May 2022 and for the first time, allow visitors to engage with the unique turning point that occurred with the emergence of radio astronomy and the dawn of the Space Age, and the role of Jodrell Bank and the UK scientists in that scientific and cultural revolution. The stunning new facilities will house an exhibition gallery, education areas, a projection space and a new cafe situated within the gardens at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

Teresa Anderson, Director Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, said: "This is another major milestone in our First Light Project which has been kindly supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and we are overjoyed to be able to see the construction of our stunning new building come to completion. Kier has done an incredible job realising the building’s ambitious design and we can’t wait to finish the exhibition installation and finally welcome visitors into the building next year."

These two distinctive projects thoroughly deserve these awards. Both projects are unique and the project teams have worked hard to ensure that they were not only delivered successfully but that the design and materials for each project reflects the different environments in which they are situated.

Manchester Museum was also victorious, winning the Manchester sub-regional Project of the Year for its transformation project, hello future. Kier recently completed work on the museum’s two-storey extension and the judges said this was a ’great project’ and collaboration was at the heart of its success.

It featured complicated site logistics and arrangements, with work adjacent to live Grade II listed buildings and in a city centre location. Extensive collaboration between the client, design team and supply chain was fundamental to this project, which required over 18,000 artefacts to be moved or remain in-situ and be protected from building work.

Manchester Museum is currently closed to the public for the final phase of construction and it will reopen at the end of 2022.

Esme Ward, Manchester Museum Director said: "We’re thrilled that our transformation won the Manchester Project of the Year Award and we’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The University of Manchester, and numerous philanthropic supporters. It’s not just about extending the footprint of the museum, we’re also renewing our creative and civic mission. We look forward to reopening our doors in 2022 and welcoming visitors to a more inclusive, caring and imaginative museum. Congratulations to Kier and Jodrell Bank on their well-deserved awards."

Diana Hampson, Director of Estates and Facilities, said: "These two distinctive projects thoroughly deserve these awards. Both projects are unique and the project teams have worked hard to ensure that they were not only delivered successfully but that the design and materials for each project reflects the different environments in which they are situated."


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