Winning approach for Bus Station business hub

The Whitehaven Bus Station project funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Sellafield Ltd, and delivered by BEC with support from Copeland Borough Council, has been unveiled as this year’s winner of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) North West Awards for both ‘Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture’ and ‘Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy’

The RTPI North West Awards celebrate examples of how planning and planners make a positive impact on quality of life, creating exceptional places to live, play and work whilst protecting our environment.

It celebrates outstanding planners, plans and projects that demonstrate the power of planning in our regions.

The Bus Station is just one of the projects which Sellafield Ltd has delivered as part of its social impact strategy which seeks to leverage public and private sector investment to help grow and diversify the West Cumbrian economy.

Gary McKeating, head of development and community for Sellafield Ltd, said:

To come down the hill into Whitehaven and see something that was derelict now not only vibrant and busy but driving the local economy is so satisfying.

It’s another example of the Sellafield Ltd social impact programme, SiX – social impact, multiplied – delivering in West Cumbria with our partners.

RTPI North West lead judge, Steve Thompson, commented:

The judges felt that the Whitehaven Bus Station redevelopment is an exemplary project that has been planning-led and which has been completed to a high standard despite a number of challenges.

It has clearly been designed to meet the needs of the local community and has been delivered through an effective and successful partnership.

The development shows what can be achieved with strong local leadership, community support, the right development and funding partners, and critically the involvement of planners at all stages.

Presenting the award for Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture, the judges said they were impressed with the passion and pride of the partners, the commitment to retaining the original art deco frontage and the adaptability of the project team and delivery partners when faced with the various challenges presented by the site itself and the pandemic.

Finally, the Bus Station was named overall winner and will go on to represent the North West region in the National RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence.

The judges said that the Bus Station is an exemplar project, that is plan led, completed to a high standard, meets the needs of the local community and has been delivered through effective and successful partnerships.

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