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Jennings Building in the running for national award

The transformation of the Jennings Building at Porthcawl’s seafront has been shortlisted for a major national award by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Nominated under the Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture category, the Jennings will be competing against the likes of the Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre, the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Darlington Hippodrome, and the Tower Hamlets Conservation Strategy.

Regarded as being one of the most established and respected award schemes in the UK planning industry, the RTPI has been running for more than 40 years and recognises projects that transform local communities, economies and environments.

The Jennings Building was originally constructed in 1832 as the southern terminus of the Dyffryn Llynfi Porthcawl horse-drawn tram road, which was used to transport iron and coal from the Llynfi Valley.

It lay vacant for the best part of a decade before Bridgend County Borough Council granted Wales-based developers ABA Holdings a long-term lease on the property and provided townscape heritage initiative funding as part of a £2.5m investment.

The redeveloped Jennings Building has now become a popular seafront landmark featuring a range of food and drink businesses and 14 units with loft bedrooms where people can live and work on site.

When you consider some of the other developments that have been shortlisted for the awards, it becomes clear that this fantastic news recognises the efforts, skill and dedication of everyone who has played a role in bringing the Jennings Building back into public use.

Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration.

He continued..

“The developer has not only protected the historical characteristics of the Jennings, but has enhanced the building and brought it back into public use as well, highlighting its status as an iconic seafront building while offering it as an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnership working.

“The Jennings forms an important part of our ongoing plans for regenerating the waterfront area in Porthcawl, and joins the likes of the new marina, the all-new town beach sea defences, the restoration of important local buildings through the townscape heritage initiative, the community-driven plans for a maritime centre and more.”

John Acres, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, added: “This year’s finalists reflect the important contribution that planners and planning makes to creating great places and tackling the challenges we face across the UK.

“Planners are taking on new and innovative projects and the finalists show they are succeeding. It’s a huge achievement just to be shortlisted this year given the six per cent rise in entries to the awards, and the high calibre of entries will make judging very difficult.”

The winner of the RTPI Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture award will be announced on 24 May 2018.

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