One of Leicestershire’s most impressive property schemes triumphed over 43 of the East Midland’s region’s most innovative projects to gain top honors at this year’s RICS Awards, East Midlands.

Smallman & Son received the award for their Soft Touch Arts refurbishment project which received the Community Benefit Award at this year’s prestigious ceremony.  Soft Touch Arts generates a multipurpose space for helping and inspiring disadvantaged young people through the use of arts, music and media.

Alexandra Kowalczuk, Head of Business Development at Smallman and Son Ltd, said

“We are absolutely delighted to win this award, and we would like to thank all those involved who worked with us on this refurbishment project. It was a great team effort and one that we thoroughly enjoyed working on. We share this with RG+P the Architects who we worked closely with and all the Team at Soft Touch. We have always felt very passionate about the Soft Touch Project and by winning this award it has just made it even more special!”

Chair of RICS East Midlands judging panel, Will Evans FRICS, said

“Soft Touch Arts impressed the judges with the enthusiastic approach to shaping a community and building long term relationships, ensuring the longevity of their project. Working in the heart of Leicester the project combats anti-social behaviour and gives a sense of pride and purpose to those in the community. By transforming an old derelict car garage into a hub for youth across the city provides valuable life skills to all those who interact with the project.”

Chris Wigmore, Business Development Director at Soft Touch said,

“Soft Touch is so delighted to win this award in partnership with Smallman & Son and rg+p.    It’s been 5 long hard years of fundraising, planning and making partnerships to make it happen and winning the award was the icing on the cake for all of us.   We have created an amazing creative resource for young people in Leicester, now and for the future.  I think the judges were impressed not only with our achievements in making the project happen, but the fact that we had involved young people in the design and that both rg+p and Smallman & Son have continued to support the charity right through from sponsoring events to becoming business ambassadors to help our sustainability and as mentors for our young people”     Christina Wigmore, Business Development Director

Robert Woolston, Director at RG+P the Architects said,

“We have really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with Soft Touch, who do such a great job.”

The Soft Touch refurbishment project will now go through to the national RICS awards held in October at the Hilton Park Lane.