Andrew Graham-Dixon –art critic, columnist for Sunday Telegraph and bbc tv arts presenter, Vicky Scott, resident and chair of Deedmore Residents Association, and Kevin Roach, project director for Whitefriars
?Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Coventry's largest housing redevelopment scheme has scooped a national award for its commitment to putting the community at the heart of the scheme.
Spirit Quarters, the major redevelopment scheme of Wood End, Henley Green, Deedmore and Manor Farm neighbourhoods has won the award for 'Best Community Led Regeneration Scheme' at the annual Regeneration and Renewal Awards.
Out of 223 entries across 14 categories and adjudicated by a panel 45 judges Spirit Quarters won the prestigious award of 'Best Community Led Regeneration Scheme in England'.
Vicky Scott, resident and chair of Deedmore Residents Association, attended the event and proudly collected the award on behalf of the community. She said: "This is an award for the whole community and has been a long time coming. For 12 years residents past and present have worked tirelessly and selflessly to create a community that we can all be proud of being a part of and living in."
Steve Carr, head of economic assets at the HCA and one of the judges in the community led category, said: “It was the local people at Spirit Quarters that blew us away as a judging panel. Meeting Janet, Vicky, Alan and Dianne and seeing their commitment to transforming their area was inspiring, to say the least. Their knowledge, confidence and the years they have dedicated to bringing about physical change in the area is fantastic and I am now pleased to say - award-winning. A very well done to all the partners involved at Spirit Quarters.”
Kevin Roach, project director for Whitefriars, which is one of the partners responsible for the delivery of the £360million regeneration and redevelopment scheme, said: "I am extremely proud that Spirit Quarters has been recognised and that the passion and commitment of the community has been acknowledged. My hope is that other communities across England will see the successes and achievements of Spirit Quarters, and how it has transformed people's lives and communities, and want to emulate us. Like us, I hope other neighbourhoods build a stronger cohesive community spirit."
Cllr Lynnette Kelly, Cabinet Member for City development, said: "Everywhere in Coventry I come across people and organisations who are proud of their community and their city – but not everyone wins an award! It is even more pleasing that the redevelopment is in my ward! Seriously - it proves to a national audience that Coventry residents continue to be proud of their city – and want people to know it!"
The Regeneration and Renewal Awards of 2012, supported by the HCA, acknowledges and celebrates good practice across the regeneration sector.
The HCA is the national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England with the primary aim of providing opportunities for affordable homes in locations where people actually want to live by enabling local authorities and communities to work much more closely together and realise their ambitions for their neighbourhoods.