THE search is now on for the hottest new developments in the North-East with the launch of the RICS Renaissance Awards 2008.

Held annually, the awards recognise the cream of the region’s property crop, looking for excellence in innovation, planning, design, workmanship and value for money.

Held annually, the awards recognise the cream of the region’s property crop, looking for excellence in innovation, planning, design, workmanship and value for money.

RICS expects well over 50 entries to battle it out in eight categories which cover the major areas in the property sector – Building Conservation, Sustainability, Regeneration, Community Benefit, Design and Innovation, Tourism and Leisure, Residential, and Commercial.

The winners of each category then go head to head for the RICS Project of the Year Award, which recognises the North-East’s champion of champions.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and gala dinner to be held at Newcastle’s Civic Centre on Friday, April 18, 2008.

Last year, the innovative Rivergreen Centre, at Aykley Heads, Durham, dominated the competition, winning three of the eight categories and the top title.

The Rivergreen Centre went on to scoop one of the world’s most prestigious property awards with an RICS Sustainability Award in London last month, beating 55 international entries.

A leading example of environmentally sustainable construction, Rivergreen beat off strong competition from Newcastle University’s Culture Lab, South Tyneside’s Westoe Crown Village, the Horton Park office complex, in Newcastle, St Martin’s Centre, Byker, and the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.

Last year’s RICS North East Renaissance Awards attracted a 46-strong entry and Michael Henning, chairman of RICS North East, hopes for a bumper crop of entries this year – and points out the awards are open to everyone.

He said: “It’s not just RICS members, anyone can nominate a property development in the region and it’s completely free to enter.

“We cover the full range of the built and natural environments and there is no limit to size, it could be a multi-million pound regeneration programme, a landscaping project or a small but perfectly formed building extension.”

A team of highly qualified judges – all property professionals in the North-East – spends days drawing up a shortlist and personally visit every finalist.

Entry forms for the North East Renaissance Awards 2008 are available to download from the RICS web site at www.rics.org or from the RICS regional office.

The closing date for entries is January 18.

Contact Sue Doberman, Event Co-ordinator, RICS North East, Room B310, Northumbria University, Ellison Building, Ellison Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST. Tel: (0191) 221-0359 or email sdoberman@rics.org

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