Finalists announced in sustainable communities awards

Four finalists for the Deputy Prime Minister's Award for Sustainable Communities have been announced.

Springhill Community Co-Housing in Stroud, Gloucestershire, the Regeneration of Attwood Green in Birmingham, the New Deal for Braunstone in Leicester, and the Taking Pride in Gravesham, Kent, projects have all made the final.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said: "Yet again we have had a terrific response from people and projects who are improving the places in which they live and work in and across the country."

"These four projects really stand out for successfully involving local people and businesses in regenerating areas into well designed safe environments with excellent public spaces and access to services. All of those things that bring people together creating thriving sustainable communities."

Each project has had unique features to its development.
  • The Attwood Green project was noted for its regeneration of what was once called the 'Slum Quarter of Birmingham';
  • the New Deal for Braunstone has implemented more than 90 projects including a leisure centre, library and community centre as well as a dedicated youth house to transform a rundown community;
  • the Taking Pride in Gravesham project formed the Gravesend Town Centre Initiative to prevent the town centre decaying under the threat of out of town shopping centres Lakeside and Bluewater on its doorstep;
  • the Springhill Co-Housing Community project could well lay claim to be the most eco-friendly of the projects showing how a small, inconvenient sloping site can be transformed. Timber framed houses, recycling and composting facilities, high-intensity insulation, PV panels and a sustainable urban drainage system all add to the eco-friendly feel of the place. The residents also all became directors of the development company so were involved in commissioning the construction.

    John Prescott will announce the overall winner at an LGA award ceremony Delivering Sustainable Communities on 14 February.

    David Hopkins

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