A SHELTERED accommodation complex in north Durham has been recognised at an awards ceremony.

Castle Court, a state-of-the-art, independent living scheme for the over 55s in Annfield Plain, has been deemed one of the best residential developments in the region by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The Derwentside Homes’ development won the Residential category and was shortlisted in the Building Conservation category of the awards.

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Durham County Councillor Michelle Hodgson said: “The building is amazing and a fabulous addition to the village and the housing offer for Derwentside Homes.

"Many of the old residents have come back and they all love it. It has fabulous access to the village, busses and local shops.”

The £3.71m scheme, which was developed by Keepmoat, was regenerated from three unused buildings into 41 one and two-bed apartments.

The former council-owned residential home Manor House and Primary Care Trust office building Priory Court were combined with the original Castle Court building.

Castle Court first opened its doors in 1985 and comprised of 32 bedsits, however, after consulting with tenants and seeing a decline in demand for traditional outdated bedsit accommodation, Derwentside Homes decided to give the building a complete makeover.

The RICS Awards final, which was held in Newcastle recently, showcased the talent of property professionals across the UK within property, construction and environment sectors.

Geraldine Kay, chief executive of Derwentside Homes said: “Castle Court is a flagship conversion project which has not only transformed the local area but also breathed new life into three obsolete buildings into high quality, luxury apartments for older people.

“I am delighted that the scheme was not only shortlisted in two categories of the RICS Awards but won the Residential category award and I would like to congratulate everybody involved in the development for this magnificent achievement.”