Word is that South Shields' new library is in the running for an award

The Word
The Word

South Shields' stunning new town centre library is in line for a top award.

The new National Centre for the Written Word – known as The Word - is one of six new developments in the North East to be shortlisted for the region’s top planning award.

These projects will be competing for the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Awards for Planning Excellence. The winner will be announced on October 6.

Vikki Vansylvan, Chair of RTPI North East said: "The finalists provide a mix of outstanding examples of planning, showcasing the continued emergence of the north east of England as a place for planning excellence.

"Given the high calibre of entries this year, the judges will no doubt find it difficult to pick an overall winner."

The Word was designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects and the judges have been impressed with how it reflects the heriatge of the town.

"The public library has been conceived as a catalyst for regeneration and used as new cultural venue that forms the centrepiece of regeneration plans for South Shields, a coastal resort which has suffered economic decline," says the commendation.

"The building’s appearance is inspired by the fanning out of the pages of a book and the material selection celebrates the sites distinctive industrial heritage, including salt and coal mining; glass making; and ship building."

The five other shortlisted entries are:

*Freeman’s Reach in Durham;

*Walwick Hall Hotel, Humshaugh;

*North Morpeth Strategic Sewer;

*North Tyneside Local Plan;

*and Seaham Habour Marina.

The RTPI North East Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate outstanding projects that demonstrate the power of planning. Entries reflect the diversity of planning achievement, whether in urban or rural areas, large or small in scale, involving new development, regeneration or conservation. Entries come from the public, private and community sectors.

Earlier this year, The Word scooped four trophies at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards, competing against 50 of the North East’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes – Project of the Year, Community Benefit, Design through Innovation and Tourism and Leisure.

The Word is part of first phase of the £100million South Shields regeneration masterplan.