AN AMBITIOUS development built to last 500 years - enhancing one of Chester's most famous landmarks - has won an award.
The Chester Cathedral Song School, built by Linford-Bridgeman Ltd and overseen by architects Andrew Arroll and Arwyn Davies, was named winner of the commercial category at this year's Cheshire Built in Quality awards, held at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall earlier this month.
The project beat off competition from across the county and will now go on to represent Cheshire in the national finals in London.
The awards recognise local excellence in the building industry and are staged on an annual basis.
About 200 people attended this year's event and Trevor Green from Granada Television acted as 'master of ceremonies'.
Among the guest speakers was Paul Everall, head of the buildings division at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
The Song School was built over an existing part of the Cathedral to form a three-storey building, replacing the original monk's dormitories and enclosing the fourth side of the cloisters.
Because the Cathedral is a Grade I listed building, painstaking attention had to be paid to detail, materials and build quality. Judges felt the development entailed some of the highest construction standards ever seen in Chester.
Terry Ecclestone, contracts manager for Linford-Bridgeman, said: 'I hadn't heard of the awards before this year's event, but it's a pleasant surprise to win.'
Other projects that clinched awards on the night included The Vistas housing development in Weston (built by Countryside Residential Ltd), winner of the Volume Housing Category, and an extension at 21 Hooton Road, Hooton (built by Martin Moore Construction), which took first place in the domestic category.
Chester entrants were nominated by Chester City Council's Building Consultancy team, and pitched against other district and unitary councils (Ellesmere Port & Neston, Vale Royal, Crewe & Nantwich, Macclesfield, Congleton, Warrington and Halton).