Re­gen­er­a­tion prize for squares’ re­vamp

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @Et­stephenb

THE re­de­vel­oped Cathe­dral Square has won a top de­sign award for im­prov­ing the prospects of fu­ture city re­gen­er­a­tion.

The £12.6 mil­lion Cathe­dral Square and St John’s Square de­vel­op­ment has claimed the Re­gen­er­a­tion Award at the Royal In­sti­tu­tion of Char­tered Sur­vey­ors’ (RICS) East of Eng­land Awards.

The project will now progress to the na­tional fi­nals, com­pet­ing against projects from across the coun­try, af­ter judges said the scheme trans­formed the city cen­tre from be­ing poorly re­garded to at­tract­ing lead­ing re­tail­ers.

It is the sec­ond suc­cess for the scheme in as many months, af­ter the light­ing in Cathe­dral Square and St John’s Square won first place in the ex­te­rior light­ing cat­e­gory at the 2012 Light­ing De­sign Awards in April.

For the lat­est suc­cess it beat off com­pe­ti­tion from other short­listed schemes in­clud­ing Wat­ford Colos­seum, Caro Court in Nor­wich, and The Old Art Col­lege, Great Yar­mouth.

Stephen Boni­face FRICS (Fel­low of Royal In­sti­tu­tion of Char­tered Sur­vey­ors) an chair of the East of Eng­land Judges, said the scheme had im­pressed the team in a num­ber of ways.

He said: “The Peter­bor­ough Cathe­dral Square project was a bold scheme. The area, once poorly re­garded, has now at­tracted new re­tail­ers and high class restau­rants as well as pro­vid­ing a fan­tas­tic pub- lic space.

“It pro­vides a fit­ting fo­cus for the city cen­tre and ap­pro­pri­ately pro­vides a suit­able square close by the cathe­dral.

“It is al­ready be­com­ing the hub of the city and the judges could see the po­ten­tial for fu­ture re­gen­er­a­tion aris­ing from this core area.

“The judges were ex­tremely im­pressed with what had been un­der­taken and had been achieved.”

The Cathe­dral Square and St John’s Square re­vamp has at­tracted crit­i­cism in the past, not least be­cause it took two years to fin­ish, way be­yond the nine months orig­i­nally pre­dicted.

The show­piece of Cathe­dral Square, the foun­tains, are cur­rently switched off af­ter the hosepipe ban was in­tro­duced, de­spite run­ning on re­cy­cled water.

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil leader Marco Cer­este, who picked up the award, said: “We’re de­lighted - and very proud - to have won this award.

“It fol­lows a lot of hard work from a great num­ber of peo­ple and shows what we can achieve in Peter­bor­ough.

“We will build on this and con­tinue to de­liver high qual­ity schemes for the city.”

Steve Bowyer, of Op­por­tu­nity Peter­bor­ough, said he was de­lighted the scheme had been recog­nised as a suc­cess.

He said: “This demon­strates the im­por­tance of achiev­ing good de­sign from the out­set and car­ry­ing that for­ward to de­liv­ery through ex­cel­lent team­work.

“The scheme has achieved all it was in­tended to do: cel­e­brat­ing the city’s fan­tas­tic build­ings, cre­at­ing a fo­cal point for peo­ple and at­tract­ing new in­vest­ment.”

WIN­NER: Coun­cil leader Marco Cer­este ac­cepts the award won for the Cathe­dral Square re­de­vel­op­ment.

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