Corby has made the finals, alongside Coventry and Milton Keynes, in the Academy of Urbanism Awards for the Great Town Award 2018.
The Academy of Urbanism Awards are in their 12th year and recognise the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments. They have visited, assessed and celebrated 150 outstanding examples of good urbanism across the UK, Ireland and Europe and now Corby is on the list.
The process starts with a nomination from a member of the Academy, followed by a shortlisting panel selecting 10 places in each category to go forward, details of the initial shortlist can be found at www.academyofurbanism.org.uk/shortlist-announced-2018-urbanism-awards/
The 10 places then went forward to a further shortlisting panel workshop on Wednesday 26th April at which Academicians and Young Urbanists decide the 3 finalists in each category. The full finalist list can be found at www.academyofurbanism.org.uk/finalists-2018/
Nominating Corby, the Academy wrote:
‘Corby is a town being transformed. Still barely halfway through the 30 year growth plan set out in the Regeneration Framework in 2003, its revival has been phoenix-like, emerging from post-industrial decay following the closure of the steelworks and the loss of 11,500 jobs in 1980. Corby demonstrates what can be achieved through civic ambition and a commitment to growth and today is the fastest-growing borough outside London’. ‘This has been achieved through a coordinated programme of regeneration, renewal and reinvention and partnership working. It is more than a regeneration programme but a unique vision that is creating a modern living and working environment. Housing and commercial growth, new and improved infrastructure and public facilities demonstrate how Corby is challenging old perceptions and creating a vibrant town. Over the last 20 years, Corby has seen the highest proportion of new home sales over anywhere in the UK. The town centre now boasts the new International Pool, the Corby Cube, Willow Place shopping centre and a remodelled pedestrian friendly environment. The opening of the railway station has put the town within an hour of London St Pancreas’. ‘Corby is investing in the quality of its workforce and new training facilities and businesses benefit from a number of support programmes, such as Growing Corby and Enterprise 4 Corby. There is still more to do but Corby demonstrates the importance of civic ambition and a coordinated regeneration framework which has provided the basis for transformation of the local economy through a programme of investment in key projects and infrastructure.’
The next stage of the award process will be a series of assessment visits and as a finalist Corby will be the subject of a drawing and poem and will also be featured in the Academy of Urbanism’s forthcoming book.
The winner of the award will be announced at an award ceremony in London in November, following a vote from all of the Academy’s members.
Chief Executive of Corby Borough Council, Norman Stronach, said:
‘We are very excited to have been shortlisted as one of the top 3 ‘Great Towns’ in the UK and Ireland. This award acknowledges the great amount of vision, investment and partnership working that has gone in to regenerating our Borough. Already we have seen improvements with new housing, infrastructure, shops and leisure facilities such as the new 6 screen cinema. We are proud of how far Corby has come over the years but don’t take this for granted and will continue to work towards improving the Borough for our residents, businesses and visitors.
‘It is a real privilege to have been recognised by the Academy of Urbanism in this way and look forward to being part of the rest of the process throughout the year.’
Chair of the Academy of Urbanism, David Rudlin, said:
‘We see all three shortlisted places as being winners and places that the academy will be seeking to celebrate and work with over the coming year.’