Royal Seal Of Approval & An RICS Award
Perhaps our most prestigious and rewarding contract to date was the Soft Touch Arts refurbishment project – which was given a Royal seal of approval when it was offically opened by HRH Prince Edward.
Soft Touch Arts is an award-winning charity helping disadvantaged young people across the community through arts, music and media. In 2015 Smallman & Son, along with rg+p Ltd, were appointed as contractor and lead consultant for the £1.1m refurbishment and extension programme of the charity’s centre at 50, New Walk, Leicester.
The project created Leicester’s first youth arts and heritage centre, providing space for creative projects including art and crafts, music, fashion, cooking, film, photography and the performing arts. The development also created a healthy eating kitchen, multi sensory equipment rooms and exhibition space, a craft and textile room, music rehearsal and recording studios, digital production suites, a stencil art studio and a sculpture garden as well as office space for the charity’s administrators. It was expected that the new building would go on to be used by 1,000 young people annually, making a real impact on the local community.
During the course of the arts centre refurbishment interest in the project was very high and in March we received a VIP guest; The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lady Gretton, came along as The Queen’s representative for Leicestershire. She met with key members of the project was given a tour of the site by our Head of Business Development, Alex Kowalczuk who informed Lady Gretton of the progress that had been made since we started the project the previous September.
As a company, Smallman & Son have continued to work closely with the Soft Touch Arts charity since completing the refurbishment and we are now one of their Business Ambassadors. It is important for us to be involved with the local community and are delighted to help them make a difference to the lives of young people in Leicester.
As a further bonus, the Soft Touch Arts project was shortlisted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) as part of their annual awards presentation in 2016. The Smallman & Son team were proud to present this refurbishment project as an entry in the Community Benefit Award, East Midlands region, and we were truly honoured when we came out on top, being announced winners by TV presenter Emma Jesson at the Kelham Hall awards dinner.