Headlines: February 16th, 2006

A regeneration project in Birmingham has won the Deputy Prime Minister’s Award for Sustainable Communities. The project in Attwood Green has turned around the area following the award of 50 million pounds of Estate Renewal Challenge Funding.In the final stages of the Awards it was judged against three other schemes, the Springhill Co-housing Community at Stroud in Gloucestershire, a New Deal for Braunstone, Leicester and From Survival to Sustainability: Taking Pride in Gravesham at Gravesend in Kent. The Deputy Prime Minister’s Award recognises initiatives that contribute to making towns, cities and communities, including those in rural areas, better places in which to live and work.

The winning project has seen 1,150 properties being refurbished, and 2,000 new homes built together with a new landscaped park, commercial space including a hotel, community facilities and transport improvements.

John Prescott said the successful regeneration at Attwood Green showed what could be achieved when people worked together to improve their local environment. They had turned a formerly run down estate into an exciting and attractive place to live and work. “Crucial to that success is the involvement of the local residents who can feel justifiably proud of this great achievement,” he said.

Ten more schemes from Bolton, Derbyshire, Hammersmith, Kent, Oxford, Sheffield, Shropshire, Stockton-on-Tees, Surrey and Whitby were commended. Mr. Prescott added, “The tremendous response to this year’s award demonstrates the scale of activity in creating thriving sustainable communities across the country.”