UK RICS Regeneration Award Won By New Waverley

New Waverley has won one of the UK property industry’s most prestigious national accolades. The £200 million regeneration scheme currently transforming the city’s Old Town was scooped this prestigious award for the UK’s best regeneration project at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 2017 annual UK awards in London on Thursday November the 2nd.

New Waverley, being delivered by Artisan Real Estate Investors, has already won the regional RICS award for best regeneration project in Scotland earlier this year. This national award win recognises New Waverley’s current status as one of Europe’s most important city centre regeneration projects, taking place in the historic and highly sensitive World Heritage Site of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The award was welcomed by Clive Wilding, New Waverley’s Project Director, who said: “We are all thrilled that New Waverley has won this major national accolade, fighting off stiff competition from major projects across the rest of the UK. We are especially pleased to be recognised by a widely-respected UK organisation that rewards excellence in design and architecture. For the last two years, we have worked hard to make New Waverley an integral part of Edinburgh’s Old Town, breathing new life back into a formerly neglected part of the city centre. This award shows that our efforts are now paying off and I am delighted that New Waverley’s considerable impact is being recognised on a national stage by our peers and public alike.”

So far, the first New Waverley development phases completed are two Whitbread hotels – the Hub by Premier Inn, a Premier Inn hotel which opened in January 2016, and The Arches, a row of 19 Victorian arches which have been transformed to create a new exciting leisure and retail district for the city.

In December 2016, the new 146-apartment Aparthotels Adagio on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile opened for business, overlooking a new football pitch-sized public square called Sibbald Walk.  Becoming the first significant public space to open in the city centre for more than 50 years. In July 2017, it was announced that some 2,900 UK civil servants will be located at New Waverley’s next phase office development as part of a new UK Government hub.

This is the fourth major award that New Waverley has won in 2017, having received top honours at this year’s Scottish Property Awards, Herald Awards and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards (Scotland).

Placemaking In The Heart of Edinburgh

The month of August saw the annual transformation of Edinburgh city into a heaving, wonderful mass of festival-led celebrations. And nowhere is this cultural feeding frenzy more keenly felt than in the deepest heart of its historic city centre.

Now one of Edinburgh’s most exciting new districts, New Waverley stretches from the Royal Mile down to Waverley Station. At its heart is a new public square, Sibbald Walk that sits just off the Royal Mile behind the new Adagio Aparthotel. Along from Waverley station lie The Arches, a row of 19 renovated Victorian arches which now host an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, restaurants and curiosities.

This year, the new square hosted The Edinburgh Cocktail Festival, that brought together a myriad of pop-up cocktail bars, food stalls, live music and DJs. This followed hot on the heels of the Heverlee Festival at The Arches which celebrated all things Belgian – including food, beer and electronic music.

The Arches have also witnessed Freestival, the Fringe’s largest free festival as well as many one-off events, street markets and art projects. Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame unveiled a 10-metre illuminated art work in celebration of St Valentine’s Day, and just around the corner, on the Royal Mile, we unveiled the UK’s largest poem to celebrate National Poetry Day.

New Waverley Terry Gilliam

What makes New Waverley special, especially now, is that just two years ago it was virtually a no-go area, right in the heart of the city. The Arches were boarded up and used for industrial storage by the council. The roads and spaces now buzzing with The Arches and New Waverley’s three new hotels, or currently earmarked for new homes and offices, bore the remnants of the city’s old gas works and bus garage, which had remained for almost two decades as an ugly, unused development site.

The area during the Festival is brimming with visitors, the hotels are full and the cafes and restaurants are spilling out onto the pavements. In short, life in all its glory has returned to a part of the city which had been closed off for years. Boosting the buzz further, last month, the UK Government announced that almost 3,000 civil servants will form a new office hub at New Waverley, meaning that this influx of new life and vibrancy is here to stay.

This is all part of a long-term plan by Artisan Real Estate Investors, the investment partnership driving New Waverley, to create a genuine sense of place for its city centre regeneration projects, building exciting, sustainable and vibrant locations in which to live, work and visit.

Anyone now witnessing the sheer exuberance and excitement of The Arches and the whole of New Waverley in general, would realise that this sensitive development mix is exactly what our city centres need if they want to continue to be attractive destinations work, visit and live.