Monday, 16 November 2009

Discovery Centre scoops top award

The State of the Art Discovery Centre at Margam Park has scooped the Local Authority 'Building of the Year' in Wales 2009 at an awards ceremony held in Neath Port Talbot last week.

The Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales (CLAW) made their choice after top architectural experts assessed buildings from across Wales with Neath Port Talbot Council picking up the award for the second year running.

The award was presented to Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council and Gareth Nutt, Head of Property and Regeneration by Welsh Assembly Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson.

Ali Thomas, said, 'I am delighted with this prestigious award that we have won for the second year running. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the council's team on their success as the award is in recognition of the building that has been produced in collaboration with the Welsh School of Architecture.

"The Margam Discovery Centre has opened up a whole new world for Neath Port Talbot. It has become a centre for heritage and conservation training, job creation and environmental understanding. It has also been an example of reducing the carbon footprint and attracting more visitors to the historic Margam Park."

The exemplar building was also commended for its sustainability. The eco-friendly operation which includes a bio-mass energy supply, rainwater harvesting, solar power and sustainable materials in the construction was also built in a unique style.

The building was mainly constructed offsite and brought to Margam as a series of completed pods which were slotted together on the pre-prepared site.

It has been built to have the minimum impact on the existing park landscape for the benefits of everyone.

The £5.6million project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Local Regeneration Fund. It is a multi purpose complex with conference facilities, study rooms, a library and computer room, a restaurant and community facilities.

The on-site residential facilities also accommodate up to 120 people giving them an opportunity to study and encompass the historic surroundings of the Park.


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