A North-East housing estate has been shortlisted for a prestigious award which recognises the most enduring and improved urban environments across the UK and Europe.

The iconic Grade II* listed Byker Estate is one of three finalists shortlisted for The Great Neighbourhood Award in The Academy of Urbanism Awards 2018.

Each year, the Academy selects 15 places in the categories of City, Town (including cities below 150,000), Neighbourhood, Street and Place.  An initial shortlist of 10 places nominated by their membership are narrowed down to three finalists and Byker was shortlisted in the Great Neighbourhood category along with Smithfields in Dublin and Golden Lane Estate in London.

The Byker Estate is the only area in the North East to be shortlisted in this year’s awards, across the five categories. While the winner won’t be announced until November, Byker has already beaten strong competition to make it through to the final. 

The Byker Estate has been managed by Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association since July 2012 and has made significant improvements and investment during this time. To date, the BCT has invested £28.5m worth of investment on the Estate and has won a number of awards for its work with tenants.

The Academy of Urbanism Awards are the primary platform for recognising and celebrating great places and are one of the most rigorously judged awards in the industry.

Earlier this month, a team of Academicians carried out an assessment visit of the Estate to create a report for the Academy to cast its final vote.

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of Byker Community Trust said: “To make the shortlist for these prestigious awards is a great achievement, not just for Byker Community Trust and the Estate, but also for the City of Newcastle and the North East too.

“Byker is becoming a popular place to live and we have many exciting projects planned for the future to continue our commitment to investing in the Estate and improving the area for our residents and local community.

“The Byker Estate is steeped in history which we are keen to preserve and celebrate, it’s great to see that this has been recognised by such a prestigious establishment and we are thoroughly looking forward to the final.”

Councillor Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services, said: “In a year when the Academy of Urbanism is focussing on places that have been built or rebuilt since 1945 to transform themselves into sustainable communities, it’s fantastic that the hard work and commitment of all those involved in the revitalisation of Byker is being recognised. 

“Being one of the 10 neighbourhoods shortlisted was an accomplishment in itself, but to have beaten off competition from cities such as Glasgow, Bristol and Birmingham to be one of just three finalists is an outstanding achievement that builds on Newcastle’s previous success in these prestigious awards.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony – the Academy’s most high-profile event, on 8 November 2017 at the offices of U+I in London.

For more information on the awards, please visit www.academyofurbanism.org.uk