Our project to transform Grade I listed Old College in Aberystwyth into a major new centre for learning, heritage, and culture has won a Planning Award in the 'Best Use of Heritage in Placemaking' category.

This is a great achievement for our multi-disciplinary team, which includes Austin-Smith:Lord (Conservation Architecture and Interiors), Asbri Planning, Hoare Lee (MEP), Mann Williams Consulting Structural and Civil Engineers, Blake Morgan LLP, and Main Contractor, Andrew Scott Ltd.

The award recognises a project, plan, or organization that has used a place or community's heritage in a way that has improved or is likely to improve, the physical or environmental quality of the place or the economic or social well-being of the community. To be eligible, the project had to involve the conservation/preservation of historic buildings and capitalise on the history of a place and/or community.

Old College evolved from an architecturally significant collection of 18th and 19th-century buildings reflected in its grade I listed status. Informed by this significance, the buildings' regeneration will sustain and use these values to positively contribute to Aberystwyth.

Professor Anwen Jones, Aberystwyth University’s Executive Lead on the Old College project said: “This is excellent news; congratulations to the whole team involved in the design work for this ambitious project. For over 150 years, the Old College has inspired generations of students, staff and visitors to Aberystwyth. This award recognises the design team’s vision for creating new inspirational spaces and opening the building up in ways never seen before, whilst respects its rich architectural heritage that is loved by so many.”

Main contractor, Andrew Scott Ltd, has started constructing the new atrium, which is key to unlocking Old College's potential. Extending over the adjacent grade II listed villas, the dramatic triple-height space will provide access to the seven floors of the Old College via the new stairs and lifts for the first time in its history.

Once completed in late 2025, the Old College is expected to attract 200,000 visitors and contribute up to £14.5m annually to the local economy, putting it on par with major tourist destinations such as Caernarfon and Conwy castles.

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