Sunderland's Keel Square wins design award

Keel Square in Sunderland
Keel Square in Sunderland
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Sunderland's new Keel Square has won another gong.

The new public space officially opened in the summer, and won a special award in this year's Northumbria in Bloom competition in September, with judges praising the 'fabulous effect' created by the square's landscaping and planting.

Now the square has won again at the Northern Design Awards for best Public Open Space.

The award was presented to the Sunderland City Council's in-house Landscape Design team who in the last two years have also won plaudits for their work at Roker and Seaburn seafront and Columbia Grange School.

The presentation was made by design guru Wayne Hemmingway, the judges included Washington born TV presenter George Clarke.

Cabinet Secretary Mel Speding said: "Awards for Keel Square and other works in our city, such as at the seafront, reflect how the council is committed to improvement, investment and consultation.

"With continuing improvements to our city centre we're seeing more businesses looking to invest in us. It's the same on our seafront as improvements to both Seaburn and Roker attract more people and new investment."

HRH Princess Katarina presented the award on behalf of the category sponsors The Landscape Institute and the event was held at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. Other finalists in the open space short-list were: Drapers Courtyard at Manchester Metropolitan University, Stockton High Street Public Realm and Littlehaven Promenade and Seawall at South Shields.

Kevin Johnson, the landscape team's Principal Landscape Architect, said: "To be winners for three years running in the Northern Design Awards is a remarkable achievement.

"It certainly helps to spread the news that Sunderland is a vibrant and changing city, where good design has helped to improve the quality of life for both residents and visitors. There’s further work to do and hopefully we will be back in the future to pick up another award."