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The Witham Hall wins award

Restoration scheme wins award and shortlisted for prestigious national award

The £3.2m restoration of the Grade II listed Witham Hall in Barnard Castle won the Building Conservation Award at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)  North East Renaissance Awards and is now in the running for the national category award to be announced in October 2014.

The redevelopment has also been shortlisted in the annual Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) awards for planning excellence in the category of ‘Best Planning and Built Heritage’.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate the contribution that planning makes to society and highlight exceptional examples of planning and will be held in London on 23 June, 2014.

The project to redevelop The Witham Hall was a partnership between Durham County Council, the Witham Trustees and Barnard Caste Vision. Additional funding was sourced from the European Regional Development Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund. The project has redeveloped and restored existing Grade II listed and historical buildings to provide a new cultural, community and commercial hub in the centre of Barnard Castle with event space, studios, offices and meeting rooms.

The project has introduced new business opportunities and jobs and the building has a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating which acknowledges its sustainable design, construction and operational management.

At the same time, Durham County Council took the opportunity to refurbish and extend the adjacent library to provide a central location for customer access and office accommodation.

Cllr Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “To be shortlisted for such a prestigious award is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in restoring a former building to its former glory and benefitting the local community.”

The project has also achieved further recognition with shortlisting’s in the North East regional awards of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) with winners announced on Friday 2nd May.