Wokingham town centre regeneration has been named as the winner in the category for Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2020. The ceremony took place virtually this year on April 30 on the RTPI’s YouTube channel youtube.com/theRTPI.
The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.
Wokingham’s regeneration has seen the council invest millions in the town’s future. The Council has redeveloped key sites in order to help support the high street with great new public spaces and an improved shopping and leisure offer as well as providing high quality new homes.
The RTPI Judges commended the project, saying: “This project is ahead of the game. It’s a transferable model for other town centres to boost their economies and community engagement. WBC had a very hands on approach in revitalising the town centre by taking a whole place approach, which positioned all involved for success. This approach is not only innovative but replicable throughout the country. The judges believe their financial model especially will have a long lasting contribution to creating a successful economy in the future.”
Cllr. Charlotte Haitham Taylor, Executive member for Regeneration, said: “We were incredibly proud just to be nominated for such a prestigious award and the competition was incredibly stiff. To go on and win is amazing and a real accolade for those who have been involved in the project. It’s well-earned recognition of all the hard work which has gone into creating a long-term vision for Wokingham town centre and then making sure it was a success.”
RTPI President Sue Manns FRTPI said: “The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is challenging us all to think about what is important in our lives and the lives of those around us, the local places and spaces around us, the way that we work, use our homes and communicate with others. This year’s winners shine a spotlight on the very best practice in delivering future places and spaces that work for everyone. They provide us with inspiration and confidence in the future of our profession.”
The RTPI champions the power of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities. It is the only body in the UK that confers Chartered status to planners, the highest professional qualification sought after by employers. It supports its members – over 25,000 worldwide - throughout their careers.