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North East Regional Awards

RTPI Regional Awards for Planning Excellence 2019

                          Standard awards logo

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

Read more about our Awards evening and view pictures from the evening here.

Our winners

  • OVERALL WINNER: Life Kitchen at the Lodge, Sunderland 

Life Kitchen delivered its first cookery classes for cancer patients in June 2019 at The Lodge, Sunderland; its first permanent home. This was made possible through fundraising, public support and the work of local businesses, including planning consultants, architects and building firms, who donated their time and services to deliver the project successfully. Life Kitchen

Lichfields secured planning permission and listed building consent to convert the Grade II listed lodge into a cookery school, working closely with Life Kitchen, the project team and Sunderland City Council to create an accessible, sustainable space of exceptional quality at the centre of the community.

Regional Chair, Sam Thistlethwaite comments - We were really pleased with the quality of this year's entries and we thank all of those who submitted projects. The Life Kitchen won high praise from all of the judges that assessed it.

This scheme impressed the judges with way it addressed the some of the complex issues relating to the change of use and the conversion of a listed building.

The project turned a vacant and run-down listed building into a nationally significant project within Mowbray Park in Sunderland.

The scheme represents the UKs first permanent base for a building of its type that will provide a space for a Cookery school that aims to cater for the needs of cancer patients and their families by providing free cookery classes that are accessible to all.


  • CHAIRS AWARD: Mitford Autism Unit - Entered by Medical Architecture

Mitford is a 15 person unit opened in November 2016, at Northgate Hospital. Mitford

Commissioned by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, it provides a specialised service for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders who have extremely complex needs and challenging behaviours. The typical 18 month residential programme reflects this complexity, furthering understanding of individual's needs; treating conditions and ameliorating the effects of autism; transitioning individuals back to their local community, better able to live independently. The building secured the future of Northgate as a leading, specialised mental health hospital, offering services to people across the whole of the UK. 


  • COMMENDED AWARD: Land of Oak and Iron Heritage Centre - Entered by Gateshead

The centre is on reclaimed land in the green belt on the edge of a country park acting as a gateway to rural Gateshead, with access to the C2C cycle route, the Derwent Walk and the Red Kite Trail. It's part of the Land of Oak & Iron project by Groundwork NE & Cumbria, which explores and celebrates industrial, cultural and natural heritage of the Derwent Valley and surrounding area.

 Land of OakThe project was supported by the National Lottery's Heritage Lottery Fund and the Rural Growth Network's Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund, to complement investment from Groundwork and partner organisation, Gateshead Council.


  • COMMENDED AWARD: Stephenson Quarter - UTC - Entered by Lichfields

The North East Futures University Technical College (UTC) opened in 2018 and marks a new chapter in the regeneration of the Stephenson Quarter, Newcastle. The UTC is a state-funded school open to all 14-19 students in the North East. It seeks to increase regional prosperity by filling the skills gap in the Digital Technology and Healthcare Science sectors.  


Lichfields provides ongoing planning and heritage support for the Stephenson Quarter and obtained planning permission and listed building consent for the UTC inside 13 weeks. The scheme accommodates up to 600 students alongside a 6-storey Grade A flagship office building -providing 5,000sqm of floorspace, supporting 300 FTE jobs.

Other finalists for 2019

  • Newcastle Eagles Arena - Entered by klr Planning Limited
  • West Mural Tower, Entered by Durham County Council

Information on our Regional Awards

  • Free to enter
  • Entries open April 2020 - more details to follow
  • Download Entry form
  • Closing date - June 2020 - more details to follow
  • Winners announced at Annual Dinner 
  • Helpful How to Win guide
  • Overall winner automatically entered to national Awards in London for 2021

Entries are open to both members and non-members and can be for a plan, strategy, initiative or project.

Entries should be submitted electronically to

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Read all about our past award winners here.



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@RTPINorthEast : Come and join us for this year’s Members Reception on Thursday 27 February from 6pm at the lovely Bealim House. Gr… 23/01/2020 - 02:57

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