W4 transformation crowned winning project of Fenland Building Design Awards 2010

THE amazing transformation of a Wisbech pub through a family s passion, commitment and entrepreneurial stamina was last night crowned the winning project of the 2010 Fenland Building Design Awards.

THE amazing transformation of a Wisbech pub through a family’s passion, commitment and entrepreneurial stamina was crowned the winning project of the 2010 Fenland Building Design Awards.

W4 was bought, gutted and restored by Barry and Lucille Carter and their son Ben – and last night at the Boathouse Business Centre in Wisbech the trio’s dedication and vision stood out as the big winner.

The Carter family, all equal partners in this now thriving enterprise, and their architect, Peter Humphrey Associates, walked off with a glass trophy and framed certificate in celebration of their success.

The overall winner came after the best in construction and design across Fenland were rewarded at the third awards, run by Fenland District Council in conjunction with the Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard.

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Announcing W4 as the overall winner, Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard Editor John Elworthy said: “The award goes to a family who took a building in the centre of Wisbech, gutted it and lovingly restored it.

“I didn’t have to fight too hard with other judges to secure their support for this winner; theirs is a story of passion, commitment, entrepreneurial stamina and regeneration.

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“It is a story of vision, too, and of how a family took an idea, ran with it, overcame many difficulties that got in the way, and must have wondered throughout whether they were doing the right thing.

“But persevere they did, and we have, as a consequence, a building of which not they but Fenland can be enormously proud of.

“They did it without subsidies, without looking for grants but using their own money, their own experience, their own skills and, quite frequently, their own labour to oversee their dream.

“For many of us who have seen this building come alive I can only say that it is a joy to behold. For those of us lucky enough to have been inside and seen the fruit of their labour, it has been a double joy.”

W4, in Exchange Square, is the former Wisbech Arms and was closed for several years before the Carter family took it over.

“It’s been an extraordinary time getting this off and running,” said Ben Carter. “I was project manager, effectively, for the transformation and worked on site for seven or so months to help.”

Nigel Lowe, of Peter Humphrey Associates, described the area of town as “starting to look tired and neglected” when the Carters stepped in.

Major alterations included the adding of an extension and provided Wisbech with a much-needed restaurant serving quality food at reasonable prices.

The much improved outside appearance has greatly enhanced part of the Conservation Area.

The entrepreneurial restaurateurs renamed the Wisbech Arms W4 because it was their fourth venture beginning with the letter W. Their previous three were the Woodmans Cottage in Gorefield, the West End Inn in Wisbech and the Woolpack at Terrington St John.

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