PAINSTAKING restoration work on Clerks Cottage, in Spaxton, together with the owner’s social responsibility during its conservation last night saw the building project named as one of the winners in the South West regional heat of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2008.
Clerks Cottage (pictured) is a Grade II* listed 14th century hall which has been restored from extreme dereliction using traditional craft skills and locally-sourced materials.
Another local project also impressed the judges - Dunster Tithe Barn Community Hall, which was highly commended for the outstanding support of the local community in the rescue and restoration of the barn for community use.
The project at Dunster comprised the restoration and repair of the tithe barn and adapting it for life as a multi-purpose community hall.
The two projects were among four from Somerset which were recognised at the regional finals held in the Bath Pump Rooms and hosted by local broadcaster Bob Constantine.
Now in their 18th year, the RICS Awards celebrate and recognise exemplary projects across five awards categories - building conservation, regeneration, sustainability, community benefit, and project of the year.
The winning projects now have the opportunity to compete in the national final which takes place at the Millennium Hotel, Mayfair, on October 17.
Kevin McCloud, presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs, will host this year’s grand final.
RICS regional chairman Tony Westcott said: “The RICS Awards celebrate excellence in managing the wide variety of buildings that make up our rich built environmental heritage.
“The standard of competition for our awards, as always, has been extremely high.
“The achievement of these Somerset projects in winning so many of this year’s awards is truly remarkable.”
Clerks Cottage was a finalist in the building conservation category, where entrants are required to demonstrate particular attention to background research, the construction materials/techniques used, and the project’s long-term prospects.
It was also nominated in the project of the year category, which was sponsored by English Partnership.
Dunster Tithe Barn was a finalist in the community benefit category, where projects must demonstrate outstanding achievements in providing community facilities, and also in the project of the year class.