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Durham University Gateway and Seaham Harbour Marina win environment awards
12:10am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
OUTSTANDING AWARD: Bill Bryson at the opening of the Durham University library extension, part of the award-winning Gateway project
A UNIVERSITY complex and the redevelopment of a coastal marina have taken top honours at a prestigious awards ceremony.
The redevelopment of Durham University’s science site and the rejuvenation of Seaham Harbour Marina shared the top accolade at last night’s (Tuesday, October 8) County Durham Environment Awards.
Both were presented with an Outstanding Award during the ceremony at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Durham City.
Other successful entries included the restoration of a 16th Century castle into holiday accommodation and a gym which is powered by energy created by clients using its fitness equipment.
There were 55 entries for this year’s awards, now in their 24th year and organised by the County Durham Environment Partnership to recognise great design and environmental achievement as well as contribution to the community.
The controversial Durham Gateway development is home to a new law school, the Palatine Centre university headquarters and extension to the university library. Although its modern architecture has attracted some criticism, the complex has already won a string of environmental awards.
The multi-million pound regeneration of Seaham Harbour Marina included the creation of new waterfront retail units, improvements to the dock gates and North Terrace entrance and restoration of the once-derelict lifeboat centre.
Mark Dowdall, from Banks Group who is a member of the judging panel, described the winning projects as "inspirational".
He added: "Durham University’s science site has incorporated sustainable principles throughout its design and development and these principles are now a benchmark for future developments within the university.
"The development of Seaham Harbour Marina has integrated modern sustainable facilities into the existing historic features of the harbour to create a new commercial and leisure environment."
Also honoured were Scargill Castle in Teesdale, which won an award in the Built Environment category. Built in 1550 on the site of an earlier Medieval castle, the building was bought in 1999 by Caroline and Niall Hardie-Hammond, fully restored and converted into luxury holiday accommodation.
The community-run Renewable Spectrum Gym, in Willington, won an award in the Climate Change category. The gym is partly powered by dynamos fitted to exercise bikes and cross trainers.
Terry Collins, chair of County Durham Environment Partnership, said: "Once again we had a very high standard of entries and it is fitting that we are able to recognise those who have gone the extra mile to improve and enhance the environment in County Durham."
BUILT ENVIRONMENT Scargill Castle - Award Bishop Auckland Urban Renaissance - award Farrell House, Spennymoor - commendation Castle and Scar Top Landscape Improvements, Teesdale - commendation CLIMATE CHANGE Durham County Council’s Beer project - award Renewable Spectrum Gym, Willington - award Edmondsley Primary School - award COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP Cultivate 4 Life project - commendation Eddy People’s Project - commendation Hand On Cree Project Nalu The Wave - commendation We Are The World, Spennymoor - commendation Lanchester Village Green improvements - commendation Stobillee Wetlands, Langley Park - commendation NATURAL ENVIRONMENT Heart of Durham project - award Durham University’s Biophilia project - commendation Cong Burn Wood and Water Quality Improvements - commendation Daisy Hill Local Nature Reserve - commendation Pelton Fell Reedbeds - commendation SCHOOL Belmont Junior School - award Yohden School Ground Improvements - award Shotley Bridge Junior School - award GROUP VOLUNTEER East Durham Heritage Group - award County Durham Residents Association - commendation Sherburn Way Railway Community Project - commendation Waldridge Volunteers - commendation VOLUNTEER OVER 18 Isabelle Roberts - award Stan Pinkney - award Ian Brown - commendation VOLUNTEER UNDER 18 Sky Rainforest Rescue Schools Challenge - commendation OUTSTANDING Seaham Marina Durham Gateway
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