Work of local community wins international acclaim

The community surrounding the National Botanic Garden of Wales was instrumental in helping the Regency Restoration project gain international acclaim with the presentation today (March 3, 2022) of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) coveted People’s Choice Award.

The winner of this award is decided by a global public vote and was last won by the Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in Hong Kong which shows the scale of the competition and the magnitude of the win.

The success of the Botanic Garden’s restoration project involved an impressive number of local people, groups and organisations across Carmarthenshire, from the council, schools and local volunteers to groups such as the Dinefwr Photographic Society, Mencap, Barod and Cyfle Cymru.

The project also promoted local procurement from the early planning stages.

The Award was presented by Ed McCann, 157th ICE President who was joined by the Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Art and Sport, Dawn Bowden, Botanic Garden director Huw Francis, and representatives of the principal contractor WM Longreach. The project team behind key design and project management from Mann Williams, Nicholas Pearson Partnership LLP, Caroe and Partners Architects, HR Wallingford – Reservoir Engineer and project manager Helen John were also in attendance.

Mr McCann said: “It is a pleasure to meet those involved in this marvellous project.

“It is unique in the way that it brought together local civil engineering and other organisations to deliver the project and engage with local schoolchildren, sharing their expertise to ensure that our work towards a sustainable future is in good hands”.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales Regency Restoration project, which took five years to complete at a cost of more than £7 million, is the largest of its kind in Wales and included two new lakes, bridges, dams, cascades, a waterfall and an extensive network of paths, all set in 300 acres of wooded parkland.

Welsh Government deputy minister Dawn Bowden said: “This project is a shining example of a sustainable development supporting our economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being.”

Ms Bowden added: “Building resilience into our natural resources and ecosystems, so that these benefits are available now – and for our future generations – is vital.”

Huw Francis said: “This successful project has been a fantastic team effort and is receiving huge approval from the thousands of visitors who have already visited.”

The project was also awarded the ICE Alun Griffiths Community Award recognising the involvement of the local community during the process and completion of the work. The award was presented by Ken Evans, Chair ICE Wales Cymru.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales would like to say a huge thank you to all our funders who have supported this project, these include The National Lottery Heritage Fund – and all those who play the National Lottery, Carmarthenshire County Council, Welsh Government, the Richard Broyd Trust, The Waterloo Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust, Country Houses Foundation, Patsy Wood Trust, the Monument Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Dawn Bowden and Helen John