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Award for planning excellence

Rtpi North East Awards For Planning Excellence Lh

The Word has been awarded the top prize at the North East Awards for Planning Excellence 2017. Organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the awards are designed to encourage and reward outstanding achievements in planning.

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, has enjoyed tremendous success since opening in October 2016. The unique and innovative combination of 21st century library, digital media centre, community hub and national cultural institution, has exceeded all expectations, bringing tangible social, cultural and economic benefits to South Shields.

Vikki Van Sylvan, RTPI North East Chair, said: “The Word is the centre piece of South Shields 365 regeneration scheme. It is refreshing to see such an innovative educational and cultural venture to kick start the regeneration and revitalisation of a declining town centre.  I’m sure this development will be a valued community asset for years to come.”

The Word South Shields Market Square Historic City Centre Context Day Lh

We were also delighted to receive a commendation for Freeman’s Reach, a £30 million office-led mixed-use development at the heart of Durham city centre. The Freeman’s Reach site forms a key gateway to the Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site and a new arrival point for visitors to the city. An efficient approach to the planning process was therefore vital to the success of this highly visible scheme.

Steve McIntyre, Partner at FaulknerBrowns, said: “When great buildings are built is it often too easy to overlook the huge amount of preparation and planning that goes into many different aspects of the design of the overall scheme, from transport and access, to the visual impact on the surrounding landscape. We are lucky to have worked with some fantastic planning consultants, Turley Associates and DPP, to deliver these two great projects.”