A project featuring designs by a Wrexham Glyndwr Architectural Design Technology student is up for an international award – and needs public support.

As part of her studies at the university, Nichola Hilton, from Rhos on Sea, was given the chance to work on a ‘live’ project for Conwy County Borough Council.

The proposals and designs she submitted, for a new concessions unit on Colwyn Bay seafront, were the ones chosen selected by the council to be built. The unit formed part of the Colwyn Bay Waterfront Project, a major redevelopment of the town’s seafront.

Since its completion, the development has been put forward for a number of awards – with the latest being the People’s Choice Award for the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The award, which the public have just days to support before voting closes on September 27, includes a range of civil engineering projects from around the globe – including projects in London, New York and Hong Kong alongside the Colwyn Bay project.

Nichola said: “Throughout our degree, we were taught to treat each assignment as a ‘live project’ with client meetings, masterplans, presentations, and so on.

“That meant that when the opportunity came to work on a real ‘live project’ with the council arose, all the practice and experience came in to practice. It was my most enjoyable assignment at university – as it was not only a chance to work with professionals in the industry, but also to be working on a project in my home town.

“The Colwyn Bay Waterfront Project has proven to be a huge success and has had a huge impact on the local area.  As I live a 5 minute walk away

from the waterfront, I have experienced first-hand the immense effect it has made.  The first recognisable difference is how hugely popular the promenade is now.  Beforehand the promenade was pretty bleak, used mainly by dog walkers.

“But now there is a constant influx of locals and tourists enjoying the Colwyn Bay coast with the modern improvements.  The new concessions kiosk and seating has allowed people to sit down, relax and soak in the views and atmosphere.”

The innovative link between the Colwyn Bay Waterfront Project and Wrexham Glyndwr University – which ultimately saw Nichola’s designs chosen – came about after its staff approached Glyndwr lecturers to offer students the opportunity to get involved and pitch their proposals.

Benjamin Poulton, Colwyn Bay Waterfront Project Manager at Conwy County Borough Council, said: “The collaboration with Glyndwr has been a real benefit to both parties. Involving the university students has worked well in terms of the community benefits of the project.

“It has been great seeing Nichola’s work progress from our initial meeting, to a full design, and then to becoming an award-nominated reality – something she describes as ‘a little haven for a place I love.’

“It would be great to see the public take a moment to back the project before voting closes later this month.”

Dr Colin Stuhlfelder, Lecturer in Built Environment at Wrexham Glyndwr University, added: “We are delighted to see Nichola’s work being shortlisted for this award by such a prestigious body as ICE.

“On top of that nomination, she also has the satisfaction of seeing her work each day in a construction project which has helped to regenerate her hometown. That kind of work is truly life-changing, and she very much deserves to win this award.”

And Nichola added: “Being part of the project has been incredibly exciting and honouring.  Winning such a prestigious award would be phenomenal, the perfect end to my journey with the Colwyn Bay Waterfront Project.  I can’t thank all of those involved enough for giving me this unbelievable opportunity and experience.”

To find out more about Wrexham Glyndwr University’s BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design technology, see: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Undergraduatecourses/ArchitecturalDesignTechnology/ 

And to find out more about the award shortlisting for the Colwyn Bay Waterfront project and how the public can show their support by September 27 visit:  https://www.ice.org.uk/what-is-civil-engineering/peoples-choice-award-2019

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