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Halifax arts centre renovation triumphs at 2019 RTPI Yorkshire Awards

04 October 2019

A major renovation to an arts centre in the heart of Halifax has won top prize at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Yorkshire Regional Awards for Planning Excellence 2019.

The development of the thriving Square Chapel Arts Centre, submitted by Evans Vettori Architects, has involved linking the building directly to the neighbouring Piece Hall.

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Above: Square Chapel Arts Centre (credit: Mark Hadden)

The award was announced at a ceremony last night at The Hospitium in York, attended by more than 130 built-environment professionals from across Yorkshire.

Chair of the judging panel Jennifer Winyard said: “This project is an inspiring example of the sustainable reuse and creation of an imaginative, quality space between two nationally important buildings recognising how change can be instigated through persistent and consistent engagement between community stakeholders, the council and heritage bodies.”

The refurbished and extended arts centre now also features a flexible studio space, café/bar and box office and improved back-of-house facilities, as well as a generous entrance foyer.

Judges also highly-commended Create Yorkshire by Pegasus Group, a new creative, digital and media hub on a former RAF airfield in North Yorkshire. Pegasus Group successfully secured planning permission on behalf of Makin Enterprises to develop the site at Church Fenton, which includes a film complex and production design offices. The work includes redevelopment of a major brownfield site. Judges praised the project saying it will bring ‘significant economic, social and environmental benefits to Yorkshire’.

RTPI Yorkshire’s first Young Planner of the Year award was presented to Will Steel of Atkins Global. The judges said: “Will is a mature role model to his peers and young planners, through his contribution to the profession and by his work to encourage others to participate in RTPI’s activity across the region.”

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Above: RTPI's John Acres (far left) with award winners at last nights RTPI Yorkshire Regional Awards for Planning Excellence

Last night’s event was one of a series of regional RTPI awards ceremonies around the country recognising outstanding projects that demonstrate the power of planning in transforming communities.

Evans Vettori Architects will join other overall winners from regions around the country at the RTPI’s national Awards for Planning Excellence ceremony, to be held in London on 30 April 2020.