Byker Wall Estate awarded the ‘greatest neighbourhood’ in UK
The iconic Grade II* listed Byker Estate in Newcastle upon Tyne was awarded ‘The Great Neighbourhood’ Award at the Academy of Urbanism Awards 2018 in London last night.
Byker was one of three finalists shortlisted for the award, which also includes Smithfields in Dublin and Golden Lane Estate in London.
The Academy of Urbanism Awards recognise the most enduring and improved urban environments across the UK and Europe and awards are presented in six categories including European City of the Year, Great City, Great Town, (including cities below 150,000), Great Neighbourhood, Great Street and Great Place.
The Byker Estate, which is owned and managed by the Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association, was the only area in the North East to be shortlisted in this year’s awards.
The Academy of Urbanism Awards are the primary platform for recognising and celebrating great places and are one of the most rigorously judged awards in the industry. A team of Academicians carried out an assessment visit of the Estate in August this year and created a report for the Academy to cast its final vote.
Collecting the award on behalf of BCT, Jill Haley, Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of Byker, City of Newcastle and the North East community, I am delighted to accept this award from the Academy. This is credit to everybody involved, especially the BCT staff, Board and residents in helping to transform Byker over the last five years into a place where people aspire to live and work.
“Since July 2012, BCT has made significant improvements on the Estate. To date, we have invested £20.5m worth of improvements with a further £21m committed by 2025. However, this is not just about investment in the bricks and mortar, Byker is a Great Neighbourhood where vibrant mixed communities exist and it is steeped in history, something which we are keen to preserve and celebrate. It’s already becoming a popular place to live and now it has beaten off strong competition from other great neighbourhoods in Glasgow, Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield and Dublin.”
Councillor Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Byker has won this award, especially in a year when the Academy of Urbanism is focusing on places that have been rebuilt since 1945 to transform themselves into sustainable communities. As a Councillor in Byker it is not surprise that the area has been recognised as a great place to live and this award is a tribute to the fantastic hard work and commitment of all those involved in the revitalisation of the area”.
The awards were presented at the offices of U+I in London last night. For more information on the awards and other winners, please visit www.academyofurbanism.org.uk