St Leonards regeneration scheme earns national award

The AmicusHorizon team with their 2015 Placemaking award which was presented by BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz (Pictured far right)
The AmicusHorizon team with their 2015 Placemaking award which was presented by BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz (Pictured far right)

A regeneration scheme in St Leonards which has converted run down houses into homes for local people has won a national award.

AmicusHorizon fought off tough competition to scoop a national Placemaking Award for their Coastal Space regeneration project.

They were chosen as the winner from 25 entries in the Award for Regeneration category.

CoastalSpace, a grass roots partnership project between the housing association and Hastings Borough Council (HBC) is improving and converting run down homes.

The scheme has seen more than £5.25m invested in the last two years to buy, refurbish and then let 38 homes to local people.

The Placemaking Awards are run by Planning Magazine and were set up to recognise excellence in the planning and delivery of placemaking initiatives across the country.

The judges whittled the project down from 25 entries. They praised the scheme for making a real difference at a local level and tackling issues of employment and housing need faced by the coastal community.

CoastalSpace also includes funding for dedicated community development staff. They deliver training and employment opportunities for local residents alongside a council led programme to improve private properties.

The award ceremony took place on March 31 at the Royal Institute in London and presented by Will Gompertz, Arts editor of the BBC.

Neill Tickle, AmicusHorizon’s development director, said: “We’re delighted the first phase of our CoastalSpace project has been recognised with this prestigious, national award. The project is having such a positive impact on the central St Leonards area of the town. It’s providing a welcome boost to one of the most deprived wards in the south east. Our unique funding arrangement with the Council combined with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency means a substantial investment is being made. We’ll soon be starting work on another 30 homes as part of phase two of the project.”

Andrew Palmer, head of housing at HBC said: “The project is the result of a successful community partnership developed over a number of years. The unique funding agreement between the council and AmicusHorizon is now being extended allowing us to take the regeneration of the area to the next level.”