Heworth Hall

Aspire HQ is shortlisted for another award

The successful transformation of Aspire’s HQ has been shortlisted for another award.

The redevelopment of Heworth Hall in Gateshead was commended in a regional awards scheme last year and has now been shortlisted in the prestigious Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) North East Renaissance Awards.

The hall, a Grade II listed building, had been empty and neglected for several years before being bought by Aspire, whose Managing Director Nigel Begg had the vision to convert the 18th century building into a modern, attractive office space.

The ambitious project was recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute, being commended in their regional awards scheme in October last year.

Now the redevelopment has been nominated in the Building Conservation category of the RICS Awards, which celebrate excellence in the built environment and showcase the talent of local property professionals.

The awards night will take place on Friday 25th April at Newcastle Civic Centre and will be hosted by TV’s Restoration Man, George Clarke.

Planning consultants George F. White and Dixon Dawson Architects started working on the project with Aspire in 2010, with planning permission and Listed Building Consent granted in March 2011.

The refurbished building was officially opened by the then Mayor of Gateshead in November 2011. Aspire has continued to invest in the site, spending more than £1m on a new 3,500 sq ft data centre.

Commenting on being shortlisted for the RICS award, Nigel Begg said:

“We could see the potential of what is an iconic building and knew it would make a great HQ for us.

“We wanted a building with a prominent location, but also a building that could provide state-of-the-art accommodation for a fast-growing, cutting-edge IT company.

“It was a challenge to meet our demand for an inspiring environment inside such a historic building, but the project team have done it and our employees all love working here.

“I’m delighted the redevelopment is getting the recognition it deserves.”

Joe Ridgeon, planning consultant at George F. White, said:

“It’s great to see such a lovely building put back to full use.

“The project had some interesting challenges, but we worked well with Aspire to ensure the vision became a reality and that a historic building could be fit-for-purpose for such a modern company.”