South Tyneside’s newest landmark has been crowned the region’s project of the year.
The Word in South Shields scooped four awards at the 2017 RICS Awards, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, competing against 50 of the North East’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes.
The new National Centre for the Written Word – known as The Word – took the Project of the Year title, as well as Community Benefit, Design through Innovation and Tourism and Leisure accolades.
The highly acclaimed Project of the Year accolade is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding community value.
RICS judges praised the team behind The Word, FaulknerBrown Architects, Muse Developments and Rex Proctor & Partners, for creating a truly inspiring and interactive community-led centre with a 21st century library.
Since opening in October last year, The Word, part of first phase of the £100m South Shields regeneration masterplan, has allowed South Tyneside Council to create a varied calendar of exhibitions, workshops and events with national appeal, encouraging new visitors to the town and boosting the local economy.
The result is an outstanding building and significantly valuable community assetAdam Serfontein
Chairman of the judging panel for the RICS Awards, Adam Serfontein, said: “From its very beginning, The Word has embraced community consultation. The result is an outstanding building and significantly valuable community asset that is used and embraced by local people all ages.”
Coun John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “We are absolutely delighted that The Word has won these prestigious awards, and in particular the Project of the Year.
“We always knew that it was going to be a fantastic asset to the Borough and more than 200,000 local residents and visitors from further afield have already seen for themselves what an outstanding facility this is.
“To have endorsement and recognition from industry professionals is testament to the vision and hard work of everyone who helped deliver this superb attraction.
“The Word has now won six awards in only six months since opening and has exceeded all our expectations. We are confident that this is just the beginning of its journey.