Margate Caves, a project that has had a significant and profound impact on the local community, was today a finalist at the National RICS Social Impact Awards 2020.
The project was shortlisted in the ‘heritage’ category against 10 other regional winners, selected back in the summer. These newly formatted RICS awards delve deep into the impact the built environment has on the communities we work in. It seeks to recognise the built environment’s positive and transformational contribution to society. The judges, both regionally and now nationally, recognised that the Margate Caves scheme is an excellence example of social impact in action.
Completed in 2019, the scheme sees the re-opening of the long-closed cave system located in Cliftonville as well as the introduction of a Visitors and Community Centre above them. The new centre not only provides safe access down to the caves, but also hosts a café, community rooms and an interpretation space.
As well as restoring a lost piece of history, The Margate Caves Community Education Trust wanted to ensure the Caves acted as more than a local attraction. They began to integrate the building into the local community, offering volunteering opportunities, full time roles, hiring of the community spaces and hosting events. The implementation of this approach has led to thousands of people being reached through community projects of formal learning.
The Centre has become the heart of the community and this was further recognised when the project was also shortlisted for the coveted RIBA MacEwan Award and more recently, a Civic Trust Award.
B&M acted as Quantity Surveyor and Technical Project Manager throughout the project’s construction and Paul Gannaway, Director, said ‘We’re absolutely honoured to be finalists at the National RICS Social Impact Awards 2020. It is a testament to the work that the Margate Caves Community Education Trust have done in facilitating a scheme that is “not just a building” and that delivers a real difference to the community”.
We congratulate the winners and thank the team at Margate Caves for allowing us to promote this fantastic scheme.