A large scale regeneration project which has helped transform the lives of people living in an inner city area of Birmingham has scooped a prestigious national design award.
The Newton redevelopment, which was the first regeneration project on this scale to be delivered by Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT), won the Public Sector Award at this year’s Urban Design Awards, held in London. BMHT is Birmingham City Council’s award-winning house-building programme.
Newtown, in north Birmingham, about two miles from the city centre, previously had a Radburn-style layout, with poor quality housing, a limited number of roads and an extensive network of segregated footpaths – with many houses only accessible by footpath. This, in turn, led to issues relating to anti-social behaviour, safety and security.
Regeneration work began in 2011 and the vast majority of the project has been completed, with residents now enjoying the benefits of the redesigned urban area.
Alongside new housing, the project included the redevelopment of a primary, secondary and special school, as well as the creation of a new public square and a well-used community centre known as The Lighthouse.
Cllr Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said: “Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust is a Birmingham City Council initiative to help close the city’s housing gap. It places great emphasis on building high quality homes for the benefit of residents across the city, so I am delighted that this innovative approach has been recognised on a national level with this award.
“We place community involvement and feedback at the heart of each development so we can ensure we build homes that will best meet their needs – and this is certainly the case in Newtown, where residents have told us that the work we have done there has helped transform their lives for the better.”