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Byker Wall estate voted the best neighbourhood in the UK

Photo: Byker Community Trust

The iconic Grade II* listed Byker Estate in Newcastle upon Tyne has been awarded ‘The Great Neighbourhood’ Award at the Academy of Urbanism Awards 2018 in London.

Byker's estate fought off strong competition from fellow finalists Smithfield in Dublin and Golden Lane Estate in London.

The award is one of five given out each year by The Academy of Urbanism, a network of built environment experts from across Europe.

They recognise Britain and Ireland’s best place, street, neighbourhood and town, as well as Europe’s best city. Voted on by its members, the Academy judges against a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success.

Credit: Byker Community Trust

The Byker Estate, which is owned and managed by the Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association, was the only area in the North East to be shortlisted in this year’s awards.

The Academy of Urbanism Awards are the primary platform for recognising and celebrating great places and are one of the most rigorously judged awards in the industry.

On behalf of Byker, City of Newcastle and the North East community, I am delighted to accept this award from the Academy. This is credit to everybody involved, especially the BCT staff, Board and residents in helping to transform Byker over the last five years into a place where people aspire to live and work.

Since July 2012, BCT has made significant improvements on the Estate. To date, we have invested £20.5m worth of improvements with a further £21m committed by 2025. However, this is not just about investment in the bricks and mortar, Byker is a great neighbourhood where vibrant mixed communities exist and is steeped in history, something which we are keen to preserve and celebrate.

It’s already becoming a popular place to live and now it has beaten off strong competition from other great neighbourhoods in Glasgow, Bristol, Birmingham, Dublin and London.”

– Jill Haley, Chief Executive, Byker Community Trust
Credit: Byker Community Trust

The other winners were:

  • Bilbao, Spain which scooped European City of the Year award
  • Corby, Northamptonshire which won The Great Town Award
  • Humber Street Fruit Market in Hull, which picked up The Great Street Award
  • London’s Brunswick Centre won The Great Place Award.