Press release

Celebrating success in the north east

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Quality of schemes delivered by the Homes and Communities Agency and their partners in the north east recognised.

The annual Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) renaissance awards for the north east have recognised the quality of schemes delivered by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and their partners.

A major scheme at Middlehaven was the overall winner and won the community benefit category with two schemes in County Durham winning awards and one in South Tyneside being commended by the judges.

Neil Graham, Head of Area at the Homes and Communities Agency said:

The schemes that have received awards reflect the quality of the developments that our partners have completed and the diversity of our role in the north east. Our work to help provide the latest medical facilities has been recognised alongside a new marina in Seaham, a park on the south bank of the Tyne along with 41 new homes in County Durham. These awards highlight how we have been able to help deliver local ambitions by investing in housing and regeneration that meets the needs of local communities.

The overall winner from the community benefit category was Keiro for their neuro-rehabilitation facility, the Gateway, built on the HCA owned Middlehaven site which impressed the judges because of the community links the project is starting to form, together with the high quality of design and construction and the attention to detail.

Boda Galen, Chief Executive of Keiro said:

The Gateway from the very start has been all about building community and making better use of existing skills and resources. A truly collaborative multi partnership project between an array of public, private and 3rd sector organisations. All of which believed in the innovative vision for an integrated service pathway from hospital to home. Improving outcomes for people with complex needs, improving the quality of life for them and their families and reducing costs to the state at the same time. A real tangible health and wellbeing community project.

Durham county council won both the regeneration and tourism awards for Seaham North Dock a project which saw the conversion of the North Dock into a marina and visitor facilities finding a new use for an unused part of the harbour

Cllr Neil Foster, Durham county council cabinet member for economic regeneration, said:

We are extremely pleased to have won not one but two RICS north east renaissance awards. The regeneration of the North Dock has been a long time in the making, with the idea of creating a marina first being discussed more than 10 years ago. These awards are an excellent reflection of long-term commitment and the hard work involved in what has been a complex but ultimately very successful scheme. We are very proud of the marina development.

As well as being a highly successful design project, it is also of enormous benefit to the community, who have welcomed the opportunity to make the most of this fantastic location. We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the project and who worked hard to make it happen.

South Tyneside council’s Harton Quays Park, built on derelict land owned by the council and the HCA, which has been developed into a new park with improved access to the pedestrian ferry landing, was highly commended in the regeneration category

Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside council, commented

We are delighted Harton Quays Park has been honoured with a prestigious RICS award. It demonstrates what can be achieved by great partnership working. The park is a key element of the Council’s ambitious plans to regenerate and create better links between South Shields riverside, town centre and seafront areas. It has not only transformed what was an unsightly derelict area but has helped to create a superb new space for residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.

Derwentside Homes won in the residential category and was shortlisted in the building conservation category of the awards for their development of 41 new homes for rent at Castle Court in Annfield Plain, County Durham created by the conversion of the obsolete buildings of Castle Court, Manor House and Priory Court into luxury accommodation suitable for tenants aged 55+.

Geraldine Kay, Chief Executive of Derwentside Homes, said:

Castle Court is a flagship conversion project which has not only transformed the local area but also breathed new life into 3 obsolete buildings into high quality, luxury apartments for older people. I am delighted that the scheme was not only shortlisted in 2 categories of the RICS awards but won the residential category award and I would like to congratulate everybody involved in the development for this magnificent achievement.