A six month search to find the most innovative property and construction schemes in the South East is now on, following the launch of the 2014 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) South East Awards on Friday, 4th October 2013.

Considered the region’s property ‘Oscars’, the annual awards celebrate the region’s most inspirational development initiatives and conservation and community benefit schemes. The launch is the starting point for a six month long high profile campaign to find the South East’s leading examples of best practice, culminating in the Awards Dinners in spring 2014.

Property professionals from across London and the South East attended a breakfast reception at the Orangery at Kensington Palace State Apartments, London, for advice on what the judges are looking for in each of the eight categories and what will make their nomination stand out.

There was also a chance to hear from the Kensington Palace State Apartments’ Project Team which won Awards for Community Benefit and Tourism and Leisure in 2013, and a short visit inside the Palace to see the results of the “Welcome to Kensington” construction project, the first major building work at Kensington Palace since the 1820’s.

Chairman of the RICS South East Awards judging panel, James Offen, says: “The quality of entries we received for this year’s Awards is testament to the talented property professionals in our region that continue to produce many exceptional schemes, despite the uncertain climate.”

He adds: “During the year there have been many exemplary projects in the region which are certainly worthy of the recognition that winning an RICS Award can bring, so hopefully we will see a rise in the number of nominations we receive for the 2014 Awards.”

The eight categories to enter are: Regeneration, Community Benefit, Building Conservation, Design through Innovation, Commercial, Residential, Infrastructure, and Tourism & Leisure. The Project of the Year is the entry judged to have scored the highest across all categories.

Furthermore, the winners in the following four categories: Building Conservation, Design through Innovation, Community Benefit and Regeneration will go on to compete against other regional winners in the national RICS Awards for the chance to be crowned the overall winner in their respective categories.

The 2013 winning schemes that will represent the South East in the national RICS Awards on 18 October 2013 at the The Savoy Hotel in London are:

Building Conservation – The Canons’ Cloister, Windsor Castle;
Community Benefit – The Novium, Chichester;
Design & Innovation – The Roundhouse, Fulling Mill Farm;
Regeneration – Watling Court, Gravesend.

James Offen adds, “it is important that we continue to raise the profile of the region, not to mention the talent of our local property professionals, and that’s exactly what the RICS Awards can do. I wish all of the South East schemes the very best of luck in the Grand Final.”

Entry forms are now available for the 2014 RICS Awards and the deadline for entries is 17 January. For further information please contact RICS UK Awards Co-ordinator, Claire Simmons on 02476 868400 or csimmons@rics.org.

The 2014 RICS South East Awards will be presented at a glittering black-tie ceremony on Thursday 01 May at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom Downs.