Ipswich’s Quay Place wins Highly Commended accolade at national awards

Quay Place lit up at night. Picture: ANDY MARSHALL

Quay Place lit up at night. Picture: ANDY MARSHALL - Credit: Archant

The regeneration of a grade II* listed Suffolk church has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.

Quay Place Wellbeing and Heritage Centre in Ipswich is now open to the public. Picture: SARAH LUCY B

Quay Place Wellbeing and Heritage Centre in Ipswich is now open to the public. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Quay Place at St Mary at the Quay in Ipswich received the Highly Commended accolade in the Building Conservation Category at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ceremony.

The awards took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in London and followed on from the regional stage of the RICS awards earlier this year where the project won the Building Conservation award in the East of England category.

This time, however, the church narrowly lost out in the national final to Glynde Place, a manor house in Sussex.

Judges described the restoration of the 15th century church on the waterfront as an ‘exemplary’ instance of building conservation.

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They also praised how the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) along with local mental health charity Suffolk Mind had managed to the rescue the building from ruin without compromising on its character. They added that the restoration had helped to make St Mary at the Quay the heart of the community.

Chair of the RICS East of England judging panel, Jonathan Nelson FRICS of Richard Utting Associates said: “The East of England is home to some of the most pioneering built developments, that are much loved valuable assets to their communities, and Quay Place is testament to this.

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“The high-quality and sensitive conservation has transformed the church while securing another use for the building, which is why it won the Building Conservation category at the regional RICS Awards earlier this year.

“I am delighted that it has now gained national recognition achieving the ‘Highly Commended’ accolade at the national RICS Awards.

“The team behind Quay Place’s regeneration – The Churches Conservation Trust, Academy Consulting, Molyneux Kerr and Bakers of Danbury - should be incredibly proud.”

The church’s history was fraught with near misses with plague, war and threats of demolition all taking their toll on the building and pushing it to its limits.

The £5.1 million renovation project began back in 2014 with the church requiring extensive repairs and refurbishment after being described as at risk by Historic England.

It re-opened last November.

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