Gamlingay Eco community hub wins Environmental Excellence Award
Date published: 17/12/2012
The small South Cambridgeshire village of Gamlingay is home to the greenest building in the country, according to Architect of the Year Awards 2012. Civic Architects, designers of the new Community Eco Hub, part funded by the Football Foundation, have won the Environmental Excellence Award at the Architect of the Year 2012 Awards.
The £1.3m Eco Hub, which was opened in March 2012 by the Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP, received £17,000 from the Foundation towards new changing rooms for local sports teams and referees.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
The “Eco” in its name stands as much for “economical” as “ecological” – since the completed building costs nothing to run, with its photovoltaics, solar water heaters and ground source heat pumps.
What really stood out for the judges of the Environmental Excellence Award was the quiet way in which the community centre got on with being sustainable.
In a strongly contested category, they approved of the fact that the 1970s village hall was not demolished but “recast” for its new 21st-century purpose.
John Mercer, Chair of the Community Centre Management Committee, said: “We are of course delighted but not surprised. From the day we opened, the Eco-hub has been a success and users express delight in the beautiful warm spaces – users that include a nursery school, a library and many sports and cultural activities and facilities for local businesses and conferences.
“We have a flexible building that is attuned to the wide range of needs in the community – congratulations to civic Architects.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Congratulations to civic Architects for winning the Environmental Excellence award at the Architect of the Year Awards and well done to all those involved with the project in Gamlingay.
“This ten year, £1.3 million project, part funded by the Football Foundation, has seen the complete recasting of a dilapidated village hall, including the installation of solar water heaters and ground source heat pumps. As a result, the facility now costs nothing to run. What makes this so impressive is that the original building was not demolished, which just goes to show what can be achieved with the resources already available to you.
“The Foundation is committed to supporting projects like this one in Cambridgeshire and right across the country with money generously provided by the Premier League, The FA, the Government (via Sport England), who have been our core funders since 2000.”
Since the Foundation was set up in 2000 it has worked closely with the Cambridgeshire FA to support 106 grassroots sports projects across the county with grants worth over £5m. These grants have attracted further partnership funding of £16m into the area’s grassroots.
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