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Longbridge wins RICS awards as Phase 2 completes

THE second phase of St. Modwen’s Longbridge town centre development has completed with the opening of Marks and Spencer, the site’s multi-story car park and a further 45,000sq ft of retail space. Within 10 years of the closure of the

former MG Rover production plant, where 6,000 jobs were lost, the Longbridge development, including the new town centre designed by Holder Mathias Architects, has generated more than 3,700 new jobs. It has transformed the local community, previously solely dependant on the car plant, into a vibrant, mixed-use sustainable community and won National Regeneration Project of the Year 2015 at the RICS Awards. The concept for the development was to

breathe life back into the area by undertaking the largest regeneration project in the West Midlands. Holder Mathias re-worked the original master plan, bringing its own urban design thinking to the scheme with a view to realising and delivering an aesthetic, functional and engaging town centre. On completion, the scheme will comprise offices to cater for a range of businesses

and combined with retail and leisure facilities will deliver a truly mixed-use environment. So far, the proposals form the centrepiece of a project that aims to bring social and economic regeneration with the creation of up to 10,000 new jobs and over 2,000 new homes over the next 15 years. The scheme is exclusively private sector

funded with much of the work carried out during the downturn of 2008; a factor recognised by the RICS Awards panel. The aesthetic quality of the scheme has been a significant aspect throughout the development of the project – something that has been key in attracting the right tenant

mix for the people who live and work there and to strengthen the status of the area. “When embarking on a project of this

scale, it is important to develop ideas that are commercially viable and able to attract the prospect of cross-sector job opportunities. It is however equally important to create places and environments where people will want to spend time, where they look forward to going to work and where they will choose to spend their leisure time,” said Stephen Hill, partner at Holder Mathias. Striking welcome for Chelsea F.C. Museum

MATHER & Co. has completed a commission to transform the entrance to the Chelsea F.C. Museum. The multi-disciplined design company

was tasked with creating a designated photo opportunity area to freshen up the

entrance, increase revenue and allow for high visitor flow. Taking just over two months to complete,

the new 45sq m entrance combines innovative design with simple elegance, plus a unique green-screen to immerse

guests into the experience. Originally hidden at the side of the

ticketing area, the transformed entrance is now the main route into the museum, giving all visitors the chance to get their hands on the Premier League trophy against the green screen. “We have a long-standing relationship

with Chelsea F.C. dating back to 2006, and we jumped at the chance to work with them again, creating a fully interactive visitor attraction for the club,” said Chris Mather, managing director of Mather & Co. “This most recent project came with its

own challenges, but we were delighted to have the opportunity to design a space that would engage guests and fulfill the Museum’s specific requirements.” 22

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