Nottingham City Council and Locus Consulting have won a national planning award for the city’s Heritage Strategy.

The strategy, designed to bring long-term benefits to the city through protecting and enhancing its heritage, won the Excellence in Planning for Built Heritage category at this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence.

The strategy was commended for championing heritage-led regeneration and placing heritage at the heart of the vision for Nottingham.  It was also praised for its vision, to “establish a vibrant, valued and widely-known heritage which delivers long term benefits to the people, economy and environment of the City of Nottingham”. It focuses on heritage in key agendas of growth, community, environment and economy.

Roisin Willmott, RTPI Awards Advisor said: “This was an outstanding entry that excelled in all the judging criteria. It put heritage at the heart of place-making underpinned by sound economic growth principles. The judges were particularly excited about Nottingham’s innovative thinking on preservation and conservation management. It demonstrated a long-term approach and good collaboration with councillors and the planning team.”

The awards recognise national contributions to and innovation in planning, and show how significant projects can be delivered speedily through planning and other consents systems.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for Jobs, Growth and Transport, said: “I am delighted that our Heritage Strategy has received national recognition. Nottingham is one of very few councils to adopt a heritage strategy as part of its ambition to attract inward investment and boost growth and we are delighted that the quality of the strategy and the hard work putting the various elements and expertise in place have been recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

“Our heritage is the backbone for the regeneration of Nottingham and the Heritage Strategy is about promoting our fantastic heritage assets to people who live in Nottingham and people who visit and ensuring constructive conservation and successful heritage-led regeneration leads to a better environment, more prosperity and greater well-being.”

Michael Braithwaite, Chair of RTPI East Midlands said:  “It is fantastic that planning in England’s East Midlands has received national recognition through this Award. Planners across the region are working hard, every day to deliver great places for people to work and live.”

Nottingham’s 15-year Heritage Strategy was launched a year ago by the City Council in partnership with Nottingham-based Locus Consulting, together with local businesses and organisations to capitalise on the city’s richly historic past and make this unique heritage contribute even more to future development, bringing long-term benefits to people, the economy and the environment.

Flagship projects in the first year include improvements to Nottingham’s southern gateway, the development of Bulwell Town Conservation Area and work to celebrate Nottingham’s historic waterways. Nottingham City Council has also secured Heritage Lottery funding to improve the condition of buildings within Carrington Street conservation area.

The infrastructure for delivering projects has been put in place, including the appointment of a heritage expert to lead the work and the creation of a heritage panel which will harness and focus energy and activity by providing strategic direction, challenge and support.

In this second year the focus is on securing the future of heritage at risk such as important but neglected buildings, structures, landscapes and archaeology and recognising local heritage that people throughout the city are passionate about.