A former factory site transformed into a major multi use leisure destination and a Grade 1 community renovation project have been named as two of the best new developments in the Solent region. That’s according to judges of the Solent Quality Place Awards and the public who voted for their favourite scheme. The Solent Quality Place Awards is a biennial event that aims to showcase developments that have made a difference to the places around them. The shortlisted schemes were carefully selected from the many entries received, and the judges visited each one to evaluate it against the given criteria. The public were also invited to cast their vote for their favourite scheme to find the People’s Choice.
The winner of the judges choice, the Solent Quality Place award (for a scheme of any size, that the judges feel has created a recognisably high-quality place through new development or refurbishment, and has improved the publicly accessible spaces and places in or around them, creating an area which more people want to use and enjoy) is Westquay South, Southampton. The Cultural Quarter, Guildhall Square was also submitted as an entry for the prestigious title, and received an Award of Merit from the judges.
The presentations to this year’s winners were made by Cllr Sean Woodward, Chairman of Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH) at the prize winning locations. Cllr Woodward said: “Initiatives such as the Solent Quality Place Awards are so important in promoting the importance of placemaking. An iconic building may be of interest to many but bringing to fruition a scheme which creates an environment that makes a real difference to the people around it is more than interest, it is essential to the coherence and development of our communities. Congratulations to both winning schemes and to all who contributed to their success”
Councillor Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “I am delighted that Westquay South has received the judge’s award, recognising the quality and importance of placemaking within the city, and congratulate all those involved in realising this truly transformational project. It’s also fantastic that Southampton’s Cultural Quarter in Guildhall Square received a merit award – two projects in one city! Both schemes demonstrate the increasing importance that our cultural heritage plays in the continuing public life of our vibrant and dynamic city centre.”
Andy Collyer, General Manager at Westquay was delighted with the news: "At Westquay we feel incredibly honoured to be awarded this year's Judges Award certificate at the Solent Quality Place Awards. We pride ourselves on being a community focused venue, putting the people of Southampton in the centre of all we do, whether that be offering a range of fantastic free events throughout the year, or simply just providing the perfect space for friends and family to connect, dine, and relax, all year round."