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Excellence Across Wigan
Saturday 5th December, 2009

Excellence Across Wigan
The Town Green project, being inspected by Judges from Northwest in Bloom this summer.

The Mayor of Wigan has praised innovation in building design at the 5th Annual Urban Design Awards.

Cllr Mark Aldred presented awards to builders, architects, community groups, individual residents and developers at a ceremony at Wigan Cricket Club this week. He told the nominees: “You have all been involved in helping to create better places and I think that this is worth recognition and acknowledgement.” The Mayor added that the awards have become the local Oscars.

Council planning officers worked with the Wigan Civic Trust and the Heritage and Environment Network to shortlist 17 organisations across a series of categories from the works completed all across the borough in the last year.

The awards included some of the most eye-catching new builds and landscaping schemes in the borough. The ‘Belong’ older person’s community in Platt Bridge, the restored Stubshaw Cross heritage garden and public art in Gadbury Fold all received plaudits from the panel, as well as praise for domestic house extensions and refurbishments to Haigh Hall Stables, a new school in Platt Bridge and work to Bispham Hall in Billinge.

Deputy Leader and regeneration champion Cllr David Molyneux spoke about the healthy mixture of large and small scale projects. He said: “The Urban Design Awards are being given to people who understand that good design is not an optional extra, but is something that will add value to their projects. Even in more difficult economic times, the message we send out to developers is that good design is still important – and it will provide economic benefits. Some of our winning projects today clearly show how good design does not need to cost the earth.”

The judges awarded the overall prize to the residents of Ashton Town Green for their transformation of the ground alongside Bolton Road into a Community Garden, which the judges said had “created an open, welcoming community garden with attractive planted areas and a gazebo which acts as a focus for the area. It is an excellent example of what local communities can achieve with commitment and drive.”

George Hollingsworth of the Wigan Civic Trust, John O’Neill of the Heritage and Environment Network joined Steve Normington, Wigan Council’s head of development, Cllr Molyneux and the Mayor to present the awards to the winners.

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