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Friday, 28 February 2014

£11,000 prize fund launched by Carnegie UK Trust to help improve Northern Ireland’s public spaces

The Carnegie UK Trust is calling on local communities across Northern Ireland to play a greater role in the development and design of their local area.

To help, an £11k pot of funding is being made available with the launch of the first ever Carnegie Prize for Design and Wellbeing.

Successful applicants will each receive a share of the prize money as they make their plans a reality; three runners-up prizes of £2,500 will be awarded, with the overall winner receiving £3,500.

The prize has been launched in partnership with the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) and the Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland (RIAS) and will celebrate how well designed public spaces, created with and for local people, can improve local resident’s health, provide new spaces for people to meet and promote community enterprise and regeneration. 

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Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust, explains more: “The strong link between the quality of our local environment and our wellbeing means that much of the Trust’s work over the last 100 years has been about improving access to quality public spaces. The launch of this new Prize comes on the back of research we carried out which found that community-led action can really help bring about positive change to local areas. It’s been well documented that a poor quality local environment can have a detrimental effect on community wellbeing, impacting on issues such as health, safety and community spirit.”

“This challenge is about improving the lives of people across Northern Ireland and we hope the funding helps stimulate ideas, creativity and above all encourages communities to come together to think of ways they can improve their surroundings.”

Winning projects should demonstrate how good design can create opportunities for improved health, local regeneration, skills development, community enterprise or social interaction.

The competition is open to any community group or registered charity-led project that will improve a publically accessible space, such as a pathway, or park and that will be completed before the end of September 2014.

Martyn, continued: “This is an opportunity for communities to help turn ideas into reality, or provide a welcome boost to complete an existing project. We wish applicants the very best of luck!”

The winning projects will be announced at the 2014 RIAS convention on 16 May 2014 which will take place in Glasgow.

Alan Jones, President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA), said: ‘This is a tremendous recognition of the importance of quality urban spaces to people’s lives. We are very enthusiastic about the potential of this great initiative.’

The Carnegie Prize for Design and Wellbeing is open to those located in Scotland and Northern Ireland. For more information about the prize, criteria and how to enter please visit: http://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/changing-minds/people---place/carnegie-prize-for-design- and-wellbeing. The closing date is 12 noon on 17 March 2014.

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