A CONTROVERSIAL £35m council building and a remote Snowdonia cottage associated with the world of spies have received prestigious awards.

Coed Pella, the offices of Conwy County Borough Council, at Colwyn Bay, has been awarded for 'regeneration.' Coed Y Bleiddiau, alongside the Ffestiniog Railway, between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Porthmadog, won the 'tourism and leisure' category in the RICS Awards 2019. The awards celebrate inspirational built initiatives in Wales and the skills of the teams behind them.

The four-storey, contemporary Coed Pella opened in mid November, 2018, to mixed public reviews. Coed Y Bleiddiau, which is run as a holiday cottage, once housed composer Sir Granville Bantock, who was friends with Harry (Jack) St John Philby, a British Arabist and colonial intelligence officer. He rented the property for 17 years, bringing his family there. His son was Harold ‘Kim’ Philby, notorious as one the Russian double agents of the spy ring known as the Cambridge Five.

Chair of the RICS Awards 2019, Wales judging panel, Geraint Evans, said: “A diverse range of innovative projects made the shortlist. The teams behind these winning projects should be very proud of their exceptional achievements and contribution to Wales.”