Winner - Urban Splash

Sponsored by Buro Happold

The successes and the awards just keep on coming for Urban Splash. Over the past year the company has sold all its homes within a matter of hours in schemes such as the Rotunda in Birmingham and Chimney Pot Park, a makeover of a traditional Victorian terrace in Salford. It completed work on the off-site manufactured Moho apartments in Manchester, and on its Foster and Partners-designed Budenberg apartment building in Altrincham, Cheshire. And it has started work on site on the Will Alsop-designed Chips, part of the New Islington regeneration in Manchester.

Urban Splash has an ability to grab attention with the quality of its designs and the sheer audacity of its proposals.

The company has earned this award for continuing to innovate across regeneration, and for demonstrating that bravery is not only good for grabbing headlines but can also be good for business. In the past financial year Urban Splash increased pre-tax profit by 78% and grew turnover by 114%.

So what’s next for the firm? Well, Imperial House in Bristol, now called Lake Shore, is one of a number of new projects in the offing. Exactly what Urban Splash will be doing is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: it won’t be safe, boring or conventional.

Runners up

Countryside Properties

A £6.5bn development programme, 10,000 new homes in the pipeline and mixed-use schemes that bring economic benefits to communities. This is developer Countryside Properties in action. Through schemes such as The Chertsey Opportunity in Surrey, Countryside is delivering regeneration and place-making on a large-scale. In Chertsey, the company worked with Runnymede council to develop an 11 acre town centre site with 155,500ft2 of office space, 93 apartments, a new town square and ancillary retail accommodation. In Manchester, the company created The Edge, a high-rise mixed-use scheme.

LPC Living

Where is the first-time buyer, many industry professionals are asking. The answer could be: standing in a queue to snap up one of LPC Living’s homes. By the middle of this year, LPC had housed more than 600 first-time buyers in Salford, Manchester and Liverpool through privately financed regeneration initiatives. These include the refurbishment of Lakeside in Liverpool, formerly a set of council tower blocks with just one resident, which now consists of apartments sold at under £60,000. The company also achieved early sales success with Quay 5, an apartment scheme in the notorious Ordsall area of Salford, undertaken with Salford council. Through such projects, it is challenging local perceptions, bringing new people into communities, and playing a key role in regeneration.

Thornfield Properties

Back to basics is Thornfield’s approach to regeneration. The company focuses on people and communities to bring about enduring and sustainable change. With 10 million ft2 of projects in progress with an end value of close to £2bn, the company has plenty of opportunity to practice its approach. One successful example is The Centre, Feltham, west London. Feltham centre was a derelict 1960s shopping precinct next to decrepit council flats before Thornfield’s intervention. The developer recognised that new community uses, including a library, community centre and medical centre, would help bring new life to the location. Around the community facilities new stores have been developed, notably an 80,000ft2 Asda, a hotel, 800 mixed-tenure apartments and other amenities. The new retail units are occupied and rents have risen; the homes, which are being developed by Barratt, are selling well and the library has 40,000 active users. It is a clear success story.