‘NewcastleGateshead' recognised in city awards

The joint city/town of ‘NewcastleGateshead' was recognised as a top European location at the Academy of Urbanism awards ceremony last week in Liverpool.

NewcastleGateshead was shortlisted as one of three UK cities in the European City of the Year 2009 category, which focused on cities in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The combined Tyneside force was up against Manchester and Bristol in the European City of the Year 2009 category, after beating off competition from major UK cities, including Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool to be shortlisted.

Ten cities were originally chosen by the public in a national vote with NewcastleGateshead, Manchester and Bristol making the shortlist. Bristol won the award.

The Academy of Urbanism promotes inspired urban design. Architects, developers and planners from local authorities across the country gathered at the prestigious annual event which recognises urban design excellence and its impact on civic pride and quality of life.

Andrew Dixon, chief executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: "To get this kind of recognition from leading decision makers in urban regeneration is a great accolade. It also follows on from last year's success of Grainger Town winning the Academy's ‘Great Neighbourhood' award. However, with cities such as Liverpool delivering quality new shopping centres, like LIVERPOOL ONE, we can still learn a lot from other places."

Mick Henry, leader of Gateshead Council, said: "Gateshead and Newcastle welcome thousands of visitors from Europe each year, and they clearly already see us as a great and dynamic European city. "We were up against strong opposition, but Gateshead and Newcastle are now consistently talked about in the same terms as the top European cities."

Coun John Shipley, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "The last decade has seen a great revival of Britain's cities, and NewcastleGateshead is right at the forefront. Those of us who live here have seen, experienced and been part of this transformation, and we know that we now compare with the best that Europe can offer."

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