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Plaque ceremony confers prestigious award to the Hill of the O’Neill Dungannon

21 July 2017

Members of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists including its President Gary Mees PCIAT, visited the Hill of The O’Neill in Dungannon recently to present a plaque, following the awarding of the CIAT 2016 Award for Architectural Technology to GM Design Associates, based in Coleraine.

The design company were named Winner of the Award for the new events space situated on the Hill of the O’Neill and Ranfurly House, Dungannon in the CIAT Awards at a glittering ceremony held at the tail end of last year.  The new outdoor event space, conference facilities and viewing tower were constructed as part of the project funded through the European Peace III Shared Spaces Programme, which was delivered by Mid Ulster District Council and STEP.

The project comprised a number of major elements including construction of the new events space at the Hill of the O’Neill and civil engineering works to provide a linear path around Dungannon. The works were undertaken in a joint venture approach, with MSM Contracts delivering the events space project and locally based A G Wilson Civil Engineering undertaking the linear path and associated works. It also involved major redevelopment works to refurbish and extend single-storey council-owned garages into an indoor and outdoor events space with a viewing tower that has a commanding 360° view of the surrounding area.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Cllr. Kim Ashton spoke at the plaque ceremony, saying, “Of course, we in Mid Ulster District Council are basking in the reflected glory of those who delivered the project, particularly GM Design Associates who are actual recipients. To win an Award, especially one as prestigious as this was a great boost to last year. 

“With the addition of the viewing tower, the conference and events spaces, we have been able to open up this area to increasing numbers of visitors, and the quality of the finished product has a large part to play in the positive responses we have received since the facilities opened.”

Vice-President Technical, Kevin Crawford MCIAT and Chair of the Judging Panel also in attendance at the presentation said "The entries for the Awards were of an exceptional standard but they all shared one thing - demonstration of Architectural Technology as a key design function and how necessary it is to achieve build-ability, usability and create inclusive environments.”

Speaking on behalf of GM Design Associates, MD Bill Gamble said, “I would like to thank the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists for the Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology for 2016. I should also mention all members of the Design Team and Contractors, who worked with us in delivering this project within budget and to an extremely challenging programme, and Mid Ulster District Council for their input and giving us the opportunity to deliver such a unique and innovative project for the town of Dungannon and on a site of such historic significance.

“We are honoured to have received such a highly regarded international award and our young and talented team is very excited as to what the future holds as we continue our work throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland and Mainland Europe.”

For more information on the Hill of the O’Neill and the new facilities, contact Ranfurly House Arts and Visitor Centre on 028 8772 8600 or visit www.dungannon.info for details. 


Pictured at the plaque conferring ceremony at the new events space at the Hill of the O’Neill are (Back row L-R): Cathy Kelly, SEUPB; Martin Jackson, McParland Finn; Andrew Johnson, Department for the Communities; Keith Stewart, GM Design Associates; Johnny McNeill, Mid Ulster District Council; Bill Gamble, GM Design; (Front row L-R) Paula Kerr, Mid Ulster District Council; Kevin Crawford, CIAT; Gary Mees, CIAT; Cllr. Kim Ashton, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council; Eddie Weir, CIAT, Francesca Berriman MBE, CIAT and Joanne Fleck, GM Design Associates

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