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Bus station development reaches awards finals

Published: 20/10/2022

COPELAND Council’s planning team, and property developers BEC, have been chosen as finalists in a national awards scheme.

Last year the Bus Station development in Whitehaven won three awards in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) regional awards ceremony.

Now it has been nominated as a finalist for the national level of the awards, in the ‘Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture’ and ‘Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy’ categories.

Copeland's Elected Mayor, Mike Starkie, said: “To have been nominated as a finalist in the national segment of these awards is just incredible.

“It’s an absolute testament to the team members involved, the developers BEC, and all the partners in this sensitive and innovative project.

“We will continue to support transformative projects like this one, that regenerate our towns and make us proud. I congratulate everyone who has been involved, and have my fingers crossed for the awards ceremony in November.”

Part of the North Shore Scheme, the Bus Station development on Bransty Row houses office space for established businesses and start-ups, and ‘The Peddler’, a 125-seat restaurant. The £8.2m North Shore project has been led by BEC, with partners including Copeland Borough Council and Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners. Sellafield Ltd contributed £5.7m of Social Impact Multiplied funding towards the project.

Michael Pemberton, Chief Executive Officer of property developers BEC, said: "We are incredibly proud of our development. People came together, with passion and tenacity, to make something happen in our area.

"To redevelop a building is one thing, but to give a beating heart to it, well that’s where the magic sits - and in the Bus Station we have been able to do just that.

"This is for our community, now and tomorrow. We have been incredibly blessed to work with so many fantastic local firms, from Sellafield, and Thomas Armstrong in the construction, through to Osprey for the Peddler and Barclays Eagle Labs for the amazing offices and co-working spaces. After receiving three RTPI awards earlier in the year, being selected on the national level is very special indeed, and just reward for everyone who made the Bus Station development a reality."

Nick Hayhurst, Copeland’s Head of Planning and Place, said: “It is fantastic news that The Bus Station has been recognised at a national level in the RTPI awards for Planning Excellence.

"The repurposing of the art deco bus station has enabled the retention of a significant heritage asset on a key site in the town. It has also created a vibrant space where creativity, business and leisure can flourish together. To be selected in two categories alongside some major schemes in large urban areas across the country is testament to its success."

Gary McKeating, Head of Development and Community at Sellafield Ltd, said: “A major part of the Sellafield SiX programme is around pushing for an economy in West Cumbria that is wider than Sellafield and the nuclear industry so it is very pleasing to have been nominated in two categories, one being planning for a successful economy. There are some amazing developments that have been shortlisted, so we look forward to what will hopefully be a positive outcome for Whitehaven and West Cumbria."

When Copeland’s planning team won the regional awards, the judges said they were particularly impressed with the determination of the council and its partners to retain the existing frontage and use it as the starting point for the design. They also felt the project was an excellent example of partnership working delivering positive benefits to the community.

To find out more about the RTPI Excellence Awards, click here:

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday, November 30.

PIC CAP: Partners involved in The Bus Station, when RTPI President, Timothy David Crawshaw, came to Whitehaven to visit the development.

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