Teams working on development projects from across Bradford had a great night at the West Yorkshire Local Authority Building Excellence Awards on Friday 7 June, with five awards out of 15 categories going to the district.

The awards for the district included the restoration of the Bradford Council-run theatre venue St George’s Hall picking up the Best Public Service Building Award.

St George’s Hall underwent major refurbishment, made possible by funding from Bradford Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund and reopened with a Gala Weekend of events on 1 and 2 June this year.

The extensive refurbishment of this much loved building included a wide-range of work on its exterior and interior. As well as major works to the roof, windows, electrics and stonework, the front-of-house areas have been increased, where possible, and have been decorated sympathetically to suit the heritage and character of the building.

St George’s Hall in Bradford

Brand new seats were also installed improving sight lines and comfort in the auditorium, whilst ensuring the world class acoustics have been unaffected.

Grade 2* Listed St George’s Hall in Bradford is one of the oldest purpose-built concert halls in Britain and the third oldest in Europe and is home to the longest running orchestral season in the United Kingdom.

The Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards celebrate buildings and design teams that have faced complex technical or construction issues and building site constraints. The awards reward the success of innovative, creative solutions across the West Yorkshire region.

Winners from the Bradford district were:

  • Best extension or alteration to an existing home won by Parish Ghyll Road, Ilkley. The Project Team were Dakin Developments Ltd, Halliday Clark Ltd, Mr David Lishman, Michael Eyres Partnership, Paul Waite Associates Ltd, Bright Blue Robot Ltd and the local authority was City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
  • PA Whitehead Builders and Masons, local authority Bradford, won best local builder or traditional craftsperson
  • Victoria Riverside, Hunslet in Leeds won best change of use of an existing building or conservation. Although in Leeds this development was inspected by Bradford Council’s Building Control Team
  • Kevin Halliday from JM Construction was awarded LABC Residential Construction Professional of the Year working in the Bradford area.
  • The Best Public Service Building award was won by St George’s Hall, Bradford. The project team was Henry Boot Construction Limited, Alastair Coey Architects, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, De Matos Ryan and Cragg Management Services.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “The work that has gone in to the restoration of St George’s Hall in Bradford is truly first rate so it is no surprise that it won the award for Best Public Service Building. The whole project team including our Building Control Team have all worked really hard on this project and the results speak for themselves.”

Adam Renton General Manager Bradford Theatres, said: “It’s wonderful that all the hard work and skill in restoring this beautiful hall has been recognised by winning such a prestigious award. It has all been made possible by the investment from Bradford Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.”

Tony Shaw, Operations Director, Henry Boot Construction Limited, said: “It was a great project to be involved in and the LABC award is richly deserved. The building has been sensitively restored by skilled tradesmen to allow the next generation of artists and performers to entertain the public of Bradford and West Yorkshire. We are proud to have played a major part in this iconic restoration project’.

This isn’t the first time that the restoration of a building in the Bradford district has won this award, as the project to restore Cliffe Castle Park and Museum triumphed in the same category last year.