Seaham Marina scoops award for its part in town's regeneration
The transformation of a dock into a marina attraction has been hailed for the part it has played in the regeneration of a town.
The redevelopment of Seaham Harbour is now home to a sports centre, home to a series of businesses and a heritage centre, with space for up to 96 boats to be berthed at its pontoons.
The project, which has been described as putting the “Sea” back into Seaham, has now won in the Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing category at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018 held in London.
The Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry.
The redevelopment – delivered as a part of a 20-year regeneration plan for the area – has ensured the local community have access to high quality sports and recreation facilities.
The marina is a hub for a range of community, sporting and recreational groups which offer a range of sports and leisure activities.
It has created 59 jobs in an area, which is ranked in the top 20% most deprived in England, according to Office of National Statistics figures.
Craig McLaren FRTPI, RTPI awards advisor said: “It is great to see the town’s greatest asset – the sea – being made into good use and enjoyed by more people.
"Seaham Harbour is a well thought through scheme, which is part of a long term project for the area that should help the local community improve their health and wellbeing.
"The planning team has used imaginative engagement and made the best use of available community resources to create a popular and well used, sustainable sports centre.”
Running for over 40 years, the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.
This year saw a nearly record number of entrants and the judges shortlisted 78 finalists across 13 categories.
Andrew Jones MRTPI, practice leader for design, planning and economics at AECOM said: “AECOM is proud to be a headline sponsor once again of the RTPI’s Awards for Planning Excellence.
"Those recognised tonight illustrate the best of the planning profession and demonstrate the impact we have on quality and delivery in every area of the built environment.
"On behalf of AECOM I would like to extend our congratulations to all of the commendations and winners.”
David Jackson MRTPI, head of planning a Savills said: “Savills is delighted to be a headline sponsor of the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence.
"The winners this year reflect the positive impact planning has on our communities across the UK, Ireland and internationally through projects, plans and people.
"I’d like to congratulate all of those short-listed for awards and the category winners on behalf of the team at Savills.”
The Royal Town Planning Institute champions the power of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities.
It represents over 25,000 members worldwide, supporting them throughout their careers.
The Institute shapes planning policy, raise professional standards and is the only body in the UK to confer Chartered status to planners, the highest professional qualification.