M&S Foodhall in Alnwick wins awards for its 'aesthetically pleasing' design

The M&S Foodhall in Alnwick has won three awards for its innovative design.
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Engineers, Fairhurst, who provided civil, structural, geo-environmental and landscape architecture services for the development, entered it in the Northern Counties Awards.

The store, which opened on the Willowburn Retail Park last January, won best medium sized project, best social value project and most collaborative project.

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Judges from the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) praised Fairhurst ‘for coming up with a concept that was simplistic in design while both aesthetically pleasing and functional’, as well as providing a huge benefit to the region.

M&S Food on the Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick.M&S Food on the Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick.
M&S Food on the Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick.

David Fletcher, technical director at Fairhurst, said: “It is fantastic for the team at Fairhurst to win three awards for this project from the IStructE.

"It is not just recognition for Fairhurst and its coordinated engineering solutions, but for all parties involved in the scheme and the overall benefit it has provided to the town of Alnwick and its community.

"The M&S Foodhall building is an impressive looking building, based on the vision of Projekt Architects and is a very fitting flagship store to the Willowburn Retail Park.”

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The social value of the project was also recognised through the highway improvement work, new transport, pedestrian and cycle links and much improved connectivity locally for residents and the wider community.

They also felt the new store reduced the need for residents to travel further afield while complementing the existing foodstore provision within Alnwick itself and had created in the region of 90 new jobs for the town.

Judges also recognised the collaboration required throughout the project between the various disciplines of consultants, the contractor, the local authority and landowner Northumberland Estates.

The development involved the diversion of a watercourse into a piped system and extensive groundworks as well as construction of the store, all of which were completed under testing weather conditions.

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David Straughan, commercial development manager at Northumberland Estates, said: “We would like to congratulate Fairhurst for creating such a great design.

"The M&S Foodhall is proving very popular and has undoubtedly added to the retail offer in Alnwick.

"We look forward to starting the next stage of development at the retail park and introducing further high-quality retailers to the town.

"We like wherever possible to bring high quality design into our commercial developments in Alnwick.”

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