An ambitious £9.3 million project by Gwynedd Council to build a primary school in Caernarfon has this week been named the UK's best value new building at a prestigious award ceremony in London.
Judges at the Constructing Excellence National 2013 Awards stated that the project to build the new Ysgol yr Hendre was the best example in the UK of a building project that delivered excellence in terms of its environmental, community and financial value. The Hendre project beat entries from eight regions that represented the "best of the best from across the UK".
The project has already been awarded the Wales 'value' award at the Constructing Excellence Wales awards in July this year.
Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member said: "We are absolutely delighted that the Ysgol yr Hendre construction project has done the double - not only has it been recognised as the best value building project in Wales, it is also now officially the best value building project in the whole of the UK.
"From day one of the project, we kept a firm focus on securing the best possible results for the local community and economy from this project."
Project lead for Gwynedd Council, Gwenan Parry added: "Throughout the construction, we worked closely with our partners at Wynne's to make sure that as many local workers, suppliers and contractors as possible were able to take full advantage of the opportunities the project offered.
"We are particularly proud of the fact that our efforts meant that 71% of the suppliers used were based within 20 miles of the site, 83% of those who worked on the project lived in Wales, five local apprentices were taken on and six students supported to study for NVQs."
For both the Wales and UK awards, the judges praised the fact that the local community played a central part in the design process and the value to the local community of Gwynedd Council and Wynne Construction's determination to keep the benefits local.
Wynne Construction's Managing Director Chris Wynne added: "As a proud north Wales company which is always looking to support our local economy and the Welsh Pound, we proactively worked to employ as many local tradesmen and suppliers as possible in the build of the new school.
"Maximising opportunities for local suppliers and workers was a priority for the Council from the start and we are particularly pleased that this team effort has been recognised for its economic value for the local community.
"We are absolutely delighted that our work with Gwynedd Council to build Ysgol yr Hendre has now been recognised on the UK-wide as well as the Welsh national level."
The new way of working that was developed for this scheme has now been adopted by Gwynedd for other major projects.