Public Space Award – Nominations request

14 May 2009

Local authorities across the region are being invited to enter nominations for the Public Space category of this year’s England’s Northwest Tourism Awards.

The prestigious awards, organised by the Northwest Regional Development Agency, have come to represent the very best of the region’s tourism industry.

The Public Space Award, supported by Northwest architecture centre Places Matter!, is designed to reward public realm projects demonstrating excellence in improving the built environment for the region’s visitors. Previous winners of the award include Cumbria County Council for Keswick Market Place in 2007 and Wyre Borough Council for Cleveley’s New Wave in 2008.

Entries, which are encouraged on an open and a ‘nomination’ basis, will need to demonstrate excellence in areas such as design, ongoing maintenance, innovation and ambition. Judges will also be looking for consideration of factors highlighted in the public realm handbook ‘Creating Inspirational Spaces’, published by Places Matter! and the Northwest Regional Development Agency in 2008.

All shortlisted finalists will receive tickets to the England’s Northwest Tourism Awards Ceremony on Monday 28th September at Blackpool Tower.

Entry forms are available from Nina Parmar nina.parmar@nwda.co.uk and from the sub-regional tourist boards in England’s Northwest. The closing date for entries is Friday 3rd July.

Annie Atkins, Programme Director, Places Matter!, said:

“The quality of public spaces can make a fundamental difference to visitors’ enjoyment of a place.  This applies for day visitors whether for business or leisure or those staying overnight or longer. 

“Feeling a place includes well designed, well used and cared for spaces can make a huge difference to the overall impression and help places differentiate themselves from their neighbours and competitors. This year we are looking to attract a wide variety of schemes that enhance the visitor experience – whether it’s an urban square, a seaside stroll or a rural meander.”

James Berresford, Director of Tourism at the NWDA, said:

“A destination’s sense of place is the key to making it stand out to visitors; from signage to street furniture, the quality of our public spaces plays a huge part in creating distinctive and memorable experiences for our visitors.

“There are already a huge number of excellent public realm projects across the Northwest. This award aims to raise awareness of that good work as well as inspire others to work toward the highest standards of design.”

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Places Matter! aims to drive up the quality of place making in the Northwest, providing support and celebrating success.  Places Matter! is an Architecture & Built Environment Centre based in Liverpool and a member of the Architecture Centre Network.  It is delivered with partner organisations including RIBA North West, NWDA, CABE and English Heritage. www.placesmatter.co.uk  

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