Skol Nansledan wins RICS Social Impact Award

Skol Nansledan wins RICS Social Impact Award

An outside photograph of the new primary school in Nansledan

Nansledan’s primary school has won a coveted Social Impact Award from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Skol Nansledan, which welcomed its first pupils last September and was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Cornwall in March this year, won the Education category in the inaugural RICS Social Impact Awards South West.

HRH The Duke of Cornwall with children at Nansledan's primary school during a visit in March 2020. The school has won a social impact award.
HRH The Duke of Cornwall is presented with a drawing at Skol Nansledan in March. Photo: Charles Sainsbury-Plaice

The school will now go forward to compete with 11 other category winners across the UK in a Grand Final currently scheduled for September.

The awards recognise the built environment’s positive and transformational contribution to society. The judges said Skol Nansledan, which is run by the Aspire Academy Trust, was “an outstanding example of a primary school with an ethos focussed towards learning in nature and sustainability.”

They praised the school’s outdoor learning facilities, allotments and cookery room, which give children the opportunity to grow and prepare their own food, saying this was “fundamental in encouraging children to connect with nature.” And they highlighted how the school allowed children with all needs to flourish, including facilities such as a sensory room for children with autism.

Nansledan is the Duchy of Cornwall’s extension to the coastal town of Newquay and embodies the principles of architecture and urban planning championed by HRH The Duke of Cornwall.

Skol Nansledan was designed in the Arts and Crafts style by Francis Roberts Architects and Alan Leather Associates and built by South West regional construction firm Midas, having been forward-funded by the Duchy. The 14-classroom school can cater for up to 420 children. So far it has welcomed 159 children and 22 staff.

HRH The Duke of Cornwall with Head of School Vicky Dilnot in March 2020.

Peter James, Nansledan Project Manager at the Duchy of Cornwall, said: “From day one we intended Skol Nansledan to be a beacon of sustainable learning, helping to connect children with the food they eat and the world outdoors, in line with The Prince’s vision. This award, coming less than a year after opening, is a huge testament to that and shows how beautiful, well-designed buildings can nurture positive social impact.”

Skol Nansledan was entered for the RICS Awards by Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group, whose Executive Director Andy McAdam said: “This has been an inspirational project for Midas to work on and we are incredibly proud to have delivered a landmark building which will play such an important role in this new community. The project has always felt special to us and we’re delighted to see it winning wider recognition by being judged as the best education project in the South West in the very first RICS Social Impact Awards.”

Vicky Dilnot, Head of School at Skol Nansledan added: “This landmark building plays a pivotal role in the lives of the children and their families in this vibrant and developing new community and it is my immense pleasure to have played a part in creating something so enduring and special.”

Nansledan has been designed so that the local community can meet the majority of their daily needs on foot. Around 350 new homes have already been built, together with a range of shops, offices, workshops, play areas, community allotments and open green space.

Eventually there will be 4,000 homes at Nansledan, which is being built by South West building companies Wainhomes, CG Fry & Son and Morrish Builders. Masterplanners and co-ordinating architects are ADAM Architecture.

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