Why you should go for it

Entry to the Placemaking Awards offers a valuable chance to reflect on your own and your colleagues' achievements, while a prize can enhance your reputation and boost morale, as previous winners attest.

After their launch in 2013 and a sell-out ceremony at the British Museum, the Placemaking Awards are now established as a means of recognising and publicising the projects and people that are making places better.

Run in association with Planning magazine and the Placemaking Resource website, the competition has a broader remit than our dedicated Planning Awards. It is open to those involved in improving the built environment by regeneration, urban design, economic development, landscape architecture or community renewal, as well as planning.

Entries are welcomed from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors across the UK. Our judges want to hear not only about finished projects, but also ideas, plans, policy-making and practice, and those who make placemaking happen.

Your entry needs to show how you have improved, or are likely to improve, the physical or environmental quality of a place or the economic or social wellbeing of a community. If you can prove your entry represents value, long-term potential and local benefits, you will have a strong application. Entries should be no more than 600 words, plus supporting documents, and can be completed easily online.

Previous entrants say even the process of applying offers benefits such as team affirmation, reflection on achievements and registering lessons learned. Better still, as winners tell us below, being shortlisted or securing an award is a major boost to morale and promotes the value of your work.

"The award brought a quality mark to our scheme"

Theresa Coyle MBE is chief executive of the Finsbury Park Community Hub in north London, whose Andover Estate Development Plan won the Regeneration category at last year's awards. To her, the win represented a major endorsement of the work of many, through years of community effort.

She told Planning: "The lead-up to getting our masterplan ready took three years of work - hard work, but a unique grass-roots approach bringing the whole community together. We're not used to entering competitions. We went along for the evening thinking we didn't have much of a hope. When they called our name out, we were so shocked we didn't even get out of our seats! We couldn't wait to get back to the community with our certificates. It is absolutely fantastic to be recognised, particularly for us as a community-led initiative. The award hit the local press. And it's brought a quality mark to our scheme. We are now at the next stage, recruiting a multidisciplinary panel to get it to planning."

"Winning boosted morale and raised our profile"

Joanne Neville, a senior economic development officer at Chesterfield Borough Council, is a member of the regeneration service that won Placemaking Team of the Year in the 2013 awards. The experience of putting together an entry was all about collaboration between colleagues and partners, she says, while the pay-off was recognition:

"Our team includes planning, economic development, tourism, town centres, markets and arts and culture, plus the town's place-marketing partnership, Destination Chesterfield. This was very much a joint submission. We didn't expect the decision-makers to take our word for it, so we asked our business champions for testimonials.

"This helped demonstrate Chesterfield's holistic approach to regeneration and placemaking, involving public and private sectors, which is focused on attracting investment, delivering high-quality new development and improving the offer of the town. Winning the award has been recognition for a lot of hard work across the service. It's boosted morale and raised the profile of Chesterfield's regeneration service in the organisation and with partners."

Placemaking Awards: key facts

The Placemaking Awards, run by Planning and Placemaking Resource, champion projects, plans, people and organisations making places better.

Judged by a panel of experts, the Awards will be presented in London in February 2015. Winning entries will be publicised in Planning and on the Placemaking Resource website at www.regen.net

Award categories

- Award for promoting economic growth
- Award for sustainability
- Award for partnership working
- Award for best use of arts, culture or sport in place-making
- Award for design excellence
- Award for best housing scheme
- Award for regeneration
- Award for mixed-use development
- Award for retail-led place-making
- Place-making team of the year
- Award for community-led place-making

All entries will be also be considered for special awards for placemaking in:

- Scotland
- Wales
- Northern Ireland
- Northern England
- The Midlands
- London
- Southern England

Charity entries are free of charge. For more details or to enter, visit www.placemakingawards.com

Deadline for all entries: 31 October

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