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PRIZE FOR NEW BAT­TLE OF BRI­TAIN BUNKER IS A FIT­TING TRIB­UTE ON RAF’S 1OOTH AN­NIVER­SARY

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by FREDERICA MILLER frederica.miller@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Fred­diAMiller

IT ONLY opened in March but al­ready Hilling­don’s Bat­tle of Bri­tain Bunker vis­i­tor cen­tre has won a re­gional prize and is now in the fi­nal for a na­tional award.

The £6mil­lion ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre for vis­i­tors to the Uxbridge site, em­braces the themes of planes and flight, re­flected in its out­stand­ing de­sign.

Hilling­don’ s Build­ing Con­trol team who man­aged the project along­side con­sul­tants Faith­ful & Gould, Pat­tern Ar­chi­tects and con­trac­tor volk­er­fitz­patrick, won the Lo­cal Author­ity Build­ing Con­trol (LABC) Awards, Best Pub­lic Ser­vice Build­ing prize on Fri­day May 11.

Ac­cord­ing to the judges, the new build­ing, with its steel-framed and unique shape, “pays fit­ting trib­ute to the RAF on its 100th an­niver­sary.”

The cen­tre will now go for­ward to the na­tional fi­nal of Best Pub­lic Ser­vice Build­ing which will be held in Novem­ber.

Hilling­don Coun­cil be­came cus­to­di­ans of the Bat­tle of Bri­tain Bunker in 2016, tak­ing over re­spon­si­bil­ity from the Min­istry of De­fence.

The de­sign of the Bat­tle of Bri­tain Bunker vis­i­tor cen­tre is in­spired by planes and flight

The coun­cil se­cured £1 mil­lion in govern­ment fund­ing to carry out es­sen­tial re­pairs to the orig­i­nal bunker, which played a cru­cial role in the Bat­tle of Bri­tain in 1940, and also in­vested £6 mil­lion it­self in the new Ex­hi­bi­tion and Vis­i­tor Cen­tre, to recog­nise this im­por­tant part of the bor­ough’s her­itage.

The Bat­tle of Bri­tain Bunker, and those who staffed it, played a cru­cial role in the air de­fence of the United King­dom through­out the Sec­ond World War and the new vis­i­tor cen­tre tells the story for the first time through an in­ter­ac­tive ex­hi­bi­tion.

Leader of Hilling­don Coun­cil, Cllr Ray Pud­di­foot, said: “The coun­cil is ex­tremely pleased to have won this ac­co­lade and be short­listed once again for a na­tional LABC Award.

“The Bat­tle of Bri­tain Bunker Ex­hi­bi­tion and Vis­i­tor Cen­tre is an amaz­ing build­ing in both de­sign and con­tent, and it has been a real achievement to see it open in just two years af­ter tak­ing over re­spon­si­bil­ity for it from the Min­istry of De­fence.”

He added: “We wanted to en­sure this na­tional her­itage site re­mains open for gen­er­a­tions to come to visit and learn about the bunker’s piv­otal role in the Sec­ond World War.

“Judg­ing from the com­ments we’ve re­ceived so far, it’s prov­ing pop­u­lar with res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike.”

Judges said the cen­tre was a fit­ting trib­ute to the RAF in its cen­te­nary year.

The de­sign of the Bat­tle of Bri­tain Bunker vis­i­tor cen­tre is in­spired by planes and flight

IM­AGE: HILLING­DON COUN­CIL

The bunker’s ex­hi­bi­tion and vis­i­tor cen­tre won the Lo­cal Author­ity Build­ing Con­trol (LABC) Awards, Best Pub­lic Ser­vice Build­ing prize

Judges said the cen­tre pays fit­ting trib­ute to the RAF on its 100th an­niver­sary

In­side the cen­tre in Wren Av­enue, Uxbridge

Judges were im­pressed by the cen­tre’s ‘shell-like form and in­ter­est­ing shape’

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