Beacon of Light is Named North East’s Project of the Year at Coveted RICS Awards

We are delighted to have been part of the consulting team of the RICS North East Project of the Year, the Beacon of Light in Sunderland.

Over 40 of the North East’s best community-led building projects competed to be named best in the region at the awards ceremony held at Newcastle’s Civic Centre on Friday. The highly acclaimed ‘Project of the Year’ award is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. The much-loved community asset is averaging around 4,500 visitors each week.

The Foundation of Light appointed Wardell Armstrong to provide detailed external landscape design and manage the planning application process of its new sports and education facility, the Beacon of Light. This is set on 4.75ha of land situated next to the Stadium of light and Sunderland Aquatics Centre, less than a mile from the city centre of Sunderland. This new development includes 3 basketball/futsal court sports halls, 60x50m football barn (4G surface), an alternative provision free school, lifelong education facilities, vocational training, support areas and a venue space capable of holding events with up to 3800 spectators. Externally there is a pedestrianised public square and 8 floodlit 5 a side 4G football pitches.

Wardell Armstrong carried out the following items of work:

This development is the first of its kind in the country and the Foundation’s response to help tackle social and educational issues affecting people in the city and wider area. It provides indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, training, education and using the power of football to involve, inspire and educate thousands of young people and families across the north east.

The Beacon of Light also won the ‘Community Benefit’ category award before being announced as Project of the Year.

RICS judges said: “The Beacon of Light is an extremely worthy home for the Foundation of Light charity and the diverse range of services and projects it provides to improve people’s lives. The stunning facility has also created a positive, visible landmark for Sunderland, with colour-changeable lighting that supports special awareness campaigns and the city’s football team. The Beacon of Light has successfully delivered on its goal to involve, encourage, inspire and motivate.”

The winning project will be entered into the national RICS Awards in October to compete against other regional winners.

Image courtesy of Faulkner Brown Architects.

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