Wokingham borough council’s ambitious Wokingham town centre regeneration project continues its award-winning success, with last night (Thursday 8 July) seeing it announced as a winner of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Europe Awards for Excellence.
The awards saw the regeneration pitched against development projects from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with winners selected for their level of quality and forward-looking approach to development and design. As well as their resilience in light of the challenges imposed by the global pandemic.
“There is something really special about Wokingham and the areas around it so, to see it receiving the recognition it deserves, is something I think everyone living or working here should be proud of.” Said Cllr Stuart Munro, executive member for business and economic development. “The regeneration has been our opportunity to give residents the town centre they deserve, and it’s been great watching the community embrace spaces like Elms Field and Peach Place as places to gather and enjoy.”
“In an extremely challenging year, these laudable projects demonstrate what can be achieved with great ambition and a flexible approach,” said Giancarlo Scotti, chair of the 2021 ULI Europe Awards for Excellence Jury. “The quality of the entries was extremely high, but the winners stood out as case studies that highlight some of the best initiatives around currently, particularly with regard to housing, sustainability, circular building, regeneration, and community building. We believe that they will prove valuable for ULI members and others in the industry to learn from.”
As a winner of the ULI European Awards for Excellence the town centre regeneration project will also be automatically entered into the ULI Global Awards with winners set to be announced in October this year.
“When it comes to awards it has been an amazing year for the regeneration, with the ULI Europe award for excellence the latest accolade for Wokingham town. The judging panel were especially impressed with how the town centre has stuck closely to the initial masterplan vision, as well as how we’ve created a flexible town centre with the opportunity to thrive and become a hub for the local community.
“When we took them on a virtual tour of the town centre they were also very interested in the regeneration model which sees profits coming back to the council to spend on services to residents. It’s an approach which has gained a lot of positive feedback since we started the project and is something we can also use elsewhere to make sure we can keep on delivering great projects without the tax payer having to foot the bill.”
Other awards won by the regeneration since Peach Place and Elms Field were completed include the Royal Planning Town Institute (RTPI) excellence in planning for a successful economy award, and the Association of Public Sector Excellence (APSE) annual service award for best housing, regeneration or new build initiative.
Elms Field and Peach Place have also been selected for inclusion in the Society for Public Architecture, Construction, Engineering and Surveying (SPACES) Yearbook, with Elms Field shortlisted as a finalist for the Civic Building of the Year award which is set to be judged later in 2021.
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