A MULTI-MILLION pound renovation project of a landmark arts complex has bagged a regional property award and is in the running for a national planning honour.

The £3.2m restoration of the Grade II listed Witham Hall, in Barnard Castle, was judged the best building conservation project at the RICS North East Renaissance Awards.

The Witham renovation has also been shortlisted in the annual Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) awards in the best planning and built heritage category.

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The project to redevelop The Witham Hall provided a new cultural, community and commercial hub in the centre of Barnard Castle with event space, studios, offices and meeting rooms.

At the same time, Durham County Council refurbished and extended the adjacent library.

At the Renaissance Awards, Middlesbrough’s The Gateway, a recently opened rehabilitation and care facility for people with neurological injuries, was named project of the year as well as taking away the community benefit award.

Other winners included the Littlehaven promenade and sea wall, at South Shields, which received the infrastructure award and Seaham North Dock, which won the tourism leisure prize.

The event was hosted by George Clarke, best known as Channel 4’s Restoration Man.