Penderyn Distillery Wins Wales Heritage Award at RICS Awards for Swansea Copperworks Distillery

JonAwards, Swansea Distillery

Penderyn’s Swansea Copperworks Distillery Acclaimed for Exemplary Heritage Restoration and Regeneration for GWP Architecture.

Penderyn Distillery is proud to announce that its Swansea Copperworks Distillery has won the esteemed Heritage Award at the 2024 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Awards for Wales. The accolade recognises the distillery’s exceptional restoration of historic listed buildings and regeneration of the famed Copperopolis site into a world-class visitor experience celebrating Swansea’s rich industrial heritage.

The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational developments in land, real estate, construction, and infrastructure across the world. Winning the Heritage category is a testament to Penderyn’s commitment to preserving the region’s cultural legacy while ushering in a new era of innovation and tourism.

Neil Quigley, Penderyn’s Chief Operating Officer, attended the RICS Conference at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on June 4th and was delighted to receive the award on behalf of the distillery. “This is a wonderful result for Penderyn. We have put our heart and soul into this building and brought our copper stills back to the copperworks site, which was known as Copperopolis and was the biggest copper site in the world in the 19th century,” Quigley said.

The RICS judges praised the Swansea Copperworks Distillery, stating: “The Hafod Copperworks Distillery & Visitor Centre is an exemplar of restoration and preservation. The combination of two Grade II listed historical landmarks, once part of a pivotal hub in the copper industry, has been meticulously completed, showcasing a harmonious blend of heritage and modern functionality.”

They continued: “The restoration and contemporary connection were a true collaborative effort from all involved, enabling the integration of a new state-of-the-art distillery. The scheme’s transformative impact is acting as a catalyst for wider regeneration and stands as a celebration of heritage conservation, promoting a cultural legacy and fostering a renewed sense of local pride.”

The £3.75 million project, supported by the Lottery Heritage Fund which Swansea Council bid for, has breathed new life into the 19th Century Powerhouse building, transforming it into a world-class visitor centrecenter and distillery. The iconic clock tower has been meticulously rebuilt, once again acting as a timekeeper for the local community as it did for generations.

Adjacent to the distillery, Penderyn has constructed a new Visitor Centre housing an exhibition area, shop, tasting bar, and an immersive exhibition chronicling the rich history of the old Copperworks site. Visitors can explore the distilling process, sample Penderyn’s award-winning whiskies, and gain insights into Swansea’s industrial past as the “Copperopolis” of the world.

“We are honoured to receive this prestigious award from RICS,” said Quigley. 

“It recognises the hard work and dedication of our team, architects, and partners in preserving Swansea’s heritage while creating a truly unique experience for visitors from around the globe. And we should mention Swansea Council who did the National Lottery Heritage Fund bid, as they were the client of the restoration works provider.”

The RICS Awards success marks another milestone for Penderyn’s Swansea Copperworks Distillery. In the coming months, the project will compete as a finalist at the RICS National Awards in October 2024, vying for further recognition on the UK stage.

For more information about Penderyn Distillery and the Swansea Copperworks Distillery, please visit