The restoration of Auckland Castle project by Durham County Council has been unveiled as this year’s winner of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) North East Awards for Planning Excellence.
Auckland Castle, home to the Prince Bishops, has been restored to become the anchor for the new visitor destination. Auckland Castle is one of the most significant complexes of medieval buildings in England. It is one of the last surviving episcopal palaces, overlooking the medieval deer park and it has international significance.
The Auckland Castle project has acted as a catalyst for wider regeneration of the town centre. The council and its partners have been successful in obtaining £53m government funding through its Town Deal programmes. The vision is to supercharge the county’s visitor economy.
Judges said the entry was of a high standard and a very detailed submission demonstrating the extent of their role in progressing the planning and development at the site.
The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate examples of how planning and planners make a positive impact on our quality of life, creating exceptional places to live, play and work whilst protecting our environment.
The RTPI North East Regional Chair, Joe Nugent, said: “At a time when society is gradually emerging from the pandemic, town planners remain at the heart of socio-economic and environmental development able to support the resurgence of the national economy.
“This continued professional commitment of town planners is mirrored in the quality of the submissions for the RTPI North East Awards for Planning Excellence.
“The submissions have generated significant interest and feedback from the judges who have enjoyed assessing the submissions. There has been an impressive scope and diversity in the nature of the scheme and projects submitted by nominees.”