AN architect has been given the Royal seal of approval in recognition of his services to making Britain’s homes better.
Washington-born George Clarke has become the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) youngest ever honorary member.
The designer, television presenter and campaigner will become one of just 200 people to hold the position world wide, joining the Prince of Wales and Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, who also hold the title.
The 39-year-old, who grew up in Blackfell, has said the membership is an “amazing honour.”
He added: “It was quite a surprise to be recognised by the RICS.
“It has a huge global reach and does a massive amount of work in China, India and the USA and they are quite a powerful body.
“I got it because for my passion for British homes and rectifying the housing crisis.
“The RICS has a huge role to play in buildings and how they can be improved.
“They have got as much to do with housing and building as architects have.”
The father-of-three, who grew up with mum Anne, has fronted Channel 4 programmes including Amazing Spaces and Restoration Man, which will feature the North East in one of its upcoming shows.
He trained with FaulknerBrowns, an architect firm in Newcastle, and has been a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University before his media career took off.
He works on four or five major projects a year with his firm George Clark + Partners.
RICS president Michael Newey, who presented George with his honorary membership, said: “There can be few people in the UK who are as recognisable and influential as George when it comes to architecture and the built environment.
“This passion and focus aligns so closely with the aims and goals of RICS, which looks to promote the very best practices in land, property and construction.
“George is one of the most highly sought-after individuals in our profession and we hope he will continue to be an ambassador for RICS.”
George has called on the Government to do more to tackle the empty homes crisis.