ASSIST DESIGNED COMMUNITY PROJECT WINS SURF 2012 AWARD FOR BEST PRACTICE IN COMMUNITY REGENERATIONASSIST are delighted to have been architects and lead design consultant on the prize-winning 'The Playz' Community Project at Pennyburn, Kilwinning in North Ayrshire.

Working with Pennyburn Regeneration Youth Development Enterprise (PRYDE) and with support from Irvine Housing Association, the project involved extensive community participation leading to the refurbishment of a former pub to create a hub of activity at the centre of the well-established community.

The building is focussed around meeting local needs in social, training and special events. The client’s requirements arose from a Demand Study carried out prior to acquiring the vacant building and were the basis for an earlier Feasibility Study, used to canvass for and obtain project finance. The unique structure of PRYDE, with a Main Board, A Shadow Board and an Advisory/Technical Group, has been a key part of the recognition of their achievements by the numerous awards received, involving young people in development and decision-making processes.

Facilities include a central social space and café for a variety of events and gatherings, coupled with individual spaces such as AV room/music space and an IT/Meeting Room.

ASSIST worked on the project for over 6 years while funding was secured, site works, after savings, were commenced and completed in 2011. Advance 2-stage asbestos removal and internal downtakings were carried out to provide a smooth path for the fitting-out works. The client is currently gathering funds to reinstate omitted items to increase flexibility of use and a recent Official Opening went very well.

SURF explain that "The Playz was selected as the winner of the 2012 SURF award for the Community-Led Regeneration category as it demonstrates all of the characteristics of a truly community-led initiative. The initiative has successfully transformed part of the Pennyburn Local Centre and a derelict public house into a welcoming hub at the heart of the community. The scale of local engagement concerning the design and sustainable use of the refurbished premises was impressive, the consequence of which is an expressed sense of community ownership and pride."

For further information please contact Alan Dunford or Phil McCafferty.

SURF Website

Irvine Housing Association Website

A short film introducing the Pennyburn Regeneration Youth Development Enterprise (PRYDE)

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