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Good design is good for business

The Exchange, Newlyn Art Gallery (photo by Peter Freeman)Two of the buildings shortlisted in this year's Commercial Property Awards have received Objective One investment.

The well established awards, organised by Michelmores solicitors and the Western Morning News, recognise this region's top buildings. This year the world famous Leach Pottery, in St Ives, and Newlyn Art Gallery have both been shortlisted. Leach received £450,000 and Newlyn received almost £1.3 million of Objective One European Regional Development Fund investment.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "Objective One has invested in buildings ranging from large scale such as The Core at the Eden Project and the CombinedUniversities in Cornwall Tremough hub campus to smaller scale such as workspace units and farm diversification.

"Throughout the Programme the aim has been to encourage the building and regeneration of top quality, environmentally friendly buildings to act as a benchmark for improving the economic conditions in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and to create new markets for local environmental goods and services businesses. These buildings are intended to inspire and attract quality private sector investment into the local economy.

"Several other Objective One building investments have previously won other architectural awards, including Pengreep Dairy, TolvaddonEnergyPark, Wheal Kitty workshops and Mount Pleasant Eco-Park. Many Objective One buildings also regularly feature in the Commercial Property Awards which is a testament to the partnership work that has gone into their development."

Leach Pottery has been shortlisted for the Heritage Project of the Year award. The £1.7 million project, lead by Penwith District Council, has meant the restoration of the workshops and creation of a gallery as well as space for ceramicists and students.

Environmental features include highly energy efficient 'Warmcel' insulation to walls, floors and ceilings and double glazed windows to minimise air infiltration. Low energy and directional lighting has been specified together with the use of presence detectors to ensure that lighting is only in use when it is required and many recycled materials were used including glass, slate and all of the wood.

Plymouth-based GHK (Gilmore Hankey Kirke) was the architect firm that designed the revamped pottery. A GHK statement said that the emphasis was on preserving and enhancing the original historic building.

The statement said: "The conservation work to the historic listed buildings was based around our ambition to retain the 'patina of age'. Once our team had visited the site and looked at the existing buildings we came the conclusion that the approach to the scheme should have an emphasis on respecting and enhancing the historic buildings, whilst connecting the new accommodation with as light a touch as possible. The primary philosophy of the restoration work was one of repair rather than replace where possible. On the main kiln room roof we were able to reuse 70% of the existing slates with replacement slates coming from local slate supplies."

Newlyn Art Gallery, by architects MUMA, has been shortlisted for project of the Year under £2 million. A striking design rich with glass and Cornish slate has been built using traditional techniques and has an environmentally friendly air handling system. Where the older building has been preserved extra insulation has been added. There are also infra red controlled taps and recycled paper to dry hands rather than warm air driers.

Local aggregates produced as a waste product of the granite, mining and china clay industries were used for the structural and fair faced concrete and in the landscaping around the building.

And a gallery spokesman explained how travel miles were cut. "The project was tendered to six contractors, all with bases within the locality of the site. This minimised the travel of the core site staff and also meant that as a result of their local knowledge, locally based sub-contractors were employed to undertake the majority of the works. Developing the site under the same contract as the redevelopment of the telephone exchange in Penzance and running them on site concurrently, presented benefits of economies of scale. This meant that the resources required to set up and run the projects were shared between the two sites. This also meant that associated vehicular travel, for example deliveries of materials, plant movement etc. were far less than that should the two sites have been developed independently."

The Commercial Property Awards winners will be unveiled on Tuesday, May 13.

For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media Relations Manager, Partnership Office, on 01872 223439/07973 813647 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Unlocking Cornish Potential is run by Cornwall College, a partner of the CUC.


Editor's notes:



Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
The Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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