City of Wolverhampton’s new i9 development has won a regional Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK award.

The city centre office complex came out on top to claim the best Commercial Development honour in the West Midlands.

It will now go forward, with the other 8 regional winners from across the UK, to the Grand Final, at the Londoner Hotel, London, on Friday 21 October.

The RICS UK judges said: “This project showcased a great collaboration between public and private sectors, linking property and infrastructure, and delivered throughout a challenging period.”

i9 emerged following the success of the i10 building on the opposite side of Railway Drive in the city centre, with both being delivered by the Council and leading property developer, Ion.

It is the next step in developing a commercial quarter on the back of the development of the award winning Wolverhampton Interchange.

The Council and Ion, selected Glenn Howells Architects’ design for i9 as the winner from a strong field of 10 UK leading architects and urban design practices in a national design competition.

And contractor GRAHAM constructed the stunning 6 storey Grade A office building, which also includes the potential for 5,600 sq ft of retail space.

The 5 floors of office space were fully let within weeks of completion and i9 boasts the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities’ second headquarters among its occupiers, alongside LGPS Central Limited and West Midlands Pension Fund.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “To win this prestigious award is recognition of all the hard work and commitment by the council and its partners to deliver i9 as part of our innovative approach to regeneration in the City of Wolverhampton.

“What makes it even more remarkable is how the development was delivered during the pandemic and was still brought in on time and on budget.

“i10 and i9 have raised the bar for the provision of top grade office space in the city and the Council is now looking at ways to develop more so we can further expand our commercial district and create more opportunities for investors and jobs for our residents.”

i9 is also the first office building in the Black Country to be awarded WiredScore Gold certification in recognition of its digital connectivity and infrastructure and is BREEAM Excellent rated to guarantee the long term sustainability of the building and lower any potential impact on the surrounding environment.

The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership supported the development of i9, which is ideally placed to benefit from HS2 – cutting journey times to London and elsewhere dramatically.