ICC Wales Wins Prestigious Social Impact Award

International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) has won a prestigious award for the social impact of its development within Wales.

ICC Wales was the first winner ever announced for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) inaugural Social Impact Awards when it was judged the winner of the Commercial category for Wales.

An £83.7m joint venture between Celtic Manor and Welsh Government, ICC Wales opened in September 2019 and can accommodate more than 5,000 delegates at a time. Designed by the Cardiff office of Scott Brownrigg with Newport-based Lewis and Lewis Ltd as the quantity surveyor, facilities include a 4,000 sqm pillar-free main hall, a 1,500-seat tiered auditorium, 15 flexible meeting rooms, a double-height glass atrium with views of the surrounding Coldra Woods and a 2,500sqm outdoor plaza.

The RICS Social Impact Awards were launched earlier this year to find the best examples in the UK of developments delivering the best economic, social or environmental improvements for their communities, recognising the real estate industry’s vital role in society.

Over 30 construction projects were shortlisted in eight categories with Cardiff’s Capital Quarter (Land & Rural), Swansea’s SA1 Waterfront Innovation Quarter (Infrastructure) and Llanelli’s Ysgol Pen Rhos (Education and Project of the Year) among the other winners.

The awards were presented by television personalities Phil Spencer and Emma Jesson on a digital platform after a planned awards ceremony scheduled to be staged at ICC Wales was cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Winners in Wales progress to a UK national final in London this September.

ICC Wales Chief Executive Ian Edwards said: “We are delighted to win this award which we hope will be the first of many for ICC Wales. It is particularly pleasing that this award recognises the impact ICC Wales has had, and will continue to have, on the community.

“As well as being a key driver for the local economy in Wales and a catalyst to launch the nation as a true destination for business events, ICC Wales is an enormous asset as a venue used by the community. A festive run of the internationally acclaimed show The Nutcracker On Ice was extremely popular and we have an exciting schedule of entertainment events to look forward to in the future.

“We held a community open day soon after opening and we were delighted to see thousands of local people stream through the doors. Their enthusiasm for this project was incredible.”

The judges declared the venue to be “an internationally important project that has had social impact at the very heart of its philosophy since inception”. They added that the scheme “that encourages and boosts social and economic benefit across the area and much further afield, has been spectacularly enacted”.

RICS Social Impact Awards Head Judge for Wales, Geraint Evans commented: “The built environment is an integral part of the UK economy but also makes a positive impact on our everyday lives.

“In these challenging times, it is warming to reflect on these winning projects, and how they are not only a demonstration of the breadth of talent within the profession, but showcase how buildings can make towns and cities across the country more inclusive and deliver communities which people can be proud of.”