THE Great Barn at Bolton Abbey has been named the best commercial building project in the UK.

The wedding venue was named winner at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards grand final held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London and hosted by Samira Ahmed, journalist and BBC broadcaster.

More than 90 of the country's most outstanding and community beneficial property schemes went head-to-head in the contest which celebrates the UK’s most inspirational built projects, and for having a significant positive impact on the communities they serve.

Category winners – of all sizes and budgets - from each of the 12 regional RICS award ceremonies held earlier this year, competed in the grand final for the chance to win the national accolade in their respective category.

The transformation of Bolton Abbey’s 16th century Tithe barn – one of the largest medieval barns in the country - into a wedding venue won the national commercial property accolade. Earlier this year it won two category accolades at its regional heat - building conservation and commercial property – before gaining the overall ‘Project of the Year, Yorkshire and Humber’ title at the RICS Awards, Yorkshire and Humber held in May.

RICS grand final judges praised the project team behind The Great Barn – Bolton Abbey Estate, Cripps and Co, Pearce Bottomley Architects and Universal Projects (UK) – for sensitively restoring the Grade II-listed property and transforming it into arguably one of the finest wedding barn properties in the country, which is now generating 13 times more rental income for the estate.

National RICS Judge, Richard Moxon FRICS of Pennycuick Collins added: “The Bolton Abbey Estate committed in excess of £2 million from its own funds to transform the building, increase the rental income tenfold and achieve payback within seven years. The confidence given by this project has boosted the local area and paved the way for further investment in other developments.”