Newcastle architects scoop awards for innovative North East projects

Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall Ltd received honours at the recent County Durham Environment Awards

Sally Ann Norman Belle Vue House, Durham
Belle Vue House, Durham

Newcastle architects Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall (JDDK) Ltd have scooped awards for two North East projects.

Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall (JDDK) Ltd were honoured at the County Durham Environment Awards held in Durham last week.

JDDK’s schemes The Witham and Bell Vue House both received awards and the £3.2m restoration of the Grade II listed Witham Hall, in Barnard Castle, was also judged as outstanding.

Company director Kevin Turnbull said: “Whilst the two schemes are very different in design and scale, we are delighted that the commitment of the client, design team and the contractor throughout the process has been recognised by County Durham, especially on the award’s 25th anniversary.”

The Witham and Library Development Project, managed by Barnard Castle Vision, Durham County Council and The Witham Hall Ltd, has seen the refurbishment of the Grade-II listed Witham Testimonial Hall.

Originally constructed in 1846 as a memorial to local philanthropist, landowner and geologist, Henry Witham, the Hall and the adjacent Testimonial Building and Music Hall have been refurbished with new studio units created along Hall Street to provide for local artists.

The Witham
The Witham

The complex is designed to spearhead the regeneration of Barnard Castle town centre and has recently won the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East award for Planning Excellence.

Belle Vue House is a five-bedroom family home in the heart of Durham City, which replaced an existing bungalow and garages.

The curved detached building was designed to accommodate a mature tree, and stands over five different levels of the sloped site.

Coun Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, added: “In the 25th anniversary of these Environment Awards, there were a number of superb entries for the built environment and it is excellent news that the exceptional quality of both of these designs has been recognised by the judging panel.

“In particular, I am delighted that the restoration of the Witham Hall received the outstanding achievement award. The project design team should be congratulated for their work.

“The restored Witham Hall has delivered a new artistic, cultural, commercial and community heart for Barnard Castle which will bring enormous and continuing economic benefits to the town, the local community and visitors.”

Judges at the County Durham Environment Awards selected 53 projects or individuals to be honoured with three projects being judged ‘outstanding’ - the first time this has happened.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer