Central Bedfordshire Council’s visitor centre at Houghton Hall Park has won a regional award in the best small commercial project category at the 2018 Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Central Building Excellence Awards held on Friday 25 May.
The Houghton Hall Park visitor centre was designed by Nicolas Tye Architects, who are based in Maulden in Central Bedfordshire. It was constructed by Modplan Building and Refurbishment Contractors Ltd, who are based in Arlesey in Central Bedfordshire.
The awards showcase innovative and creative build solutions and reward construction and building control excellence. The Houghton Hall Park visitors’ building beat other shortlisted projects from across Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Bedfordshire.
The National Lottery funded building is a versatile, multipurpose venue within walking distance of the town centre which provides a central hub for the local community. In the building there are bookable meeting spaces, a dog-friendly café with both indoor and outdoor seating, children’s discovery area, and interactive interpretation about the park and other local heritage.
The park and visitor centre, which are free to visit, are part of the wider £3m Houghton Hall Park Renaissance and Renewal Project, which has also provided easy-access paths and installed innovative natural play equipment, making the historic Houghton Hall Park a great destination for all of the family.
Councillor Nigel Young, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Business and Regeneration, said: “We are delighted that Houghton Hall visitor centre has been recognised at the LABC Awards. The building is an outstanding initiative which is providing the community with open spaces, new facilities and visitor attractions that they can enjoy and be proud of, while regenerating an important piece of Houghton Regis history, heritage and culture.
“Both the architect and construction company we used for this exceptional building are locally-based, and it has been constructed with high quality materials so that it will have low maintenance costs throughout its lifespan."
Houghton Hall Park is open all year round and the visitor centre is located at the Park Road North entrance. There is a visitor car park which allows free parking for three hours. Opening times and events at the Houghton Hall Park visitor centre can be found at www.facebook.com/houghtonhallpark or www.houghtonhallpark.org
The new visitor centre opened last October following a £2.2million National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund, together with funding from Central Bedfordshire Council and Houghton Regis Town Council.
As well as the winning Houghton Hall Park this year’s LABC awards saw a record number of entries for Central Bedfordshire.
Our Building Control Team were recognised for their contribution to winning ‘Best Partnership’ with Levitt Partners, a consultancy based in Biggleswade, in recognition of their longstanding work together.Cranfield University won the Best Large Commercial project for their Aerospace Integration Research Centre.
All winners at the regional awards automatically go forward to the national LABC finals in London on 9 November.