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Manor House, Rathlin Refurbishment Project competing for national award

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Rural Development Minister Michelle McIlveen (centre) officially opens the Rathlin Manor Guest Inn following a £1million refurbishment programme, funded through DAERA's TRPSI Programme and the Coastal Communities Fund. Pictured with the Minister are newly appointed operators Brian and Genevieve McLernon from Ballycastle. Photo Diarmuid McLaughlin

Manor House, Rathlin Refurbishment Project is among four finalists in Northern Ireland in the running to win one of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence. The Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

There are 90 finalists across 14 categories, in Northern Ireland they are:

  • The Seamus Heaney Homeplace (Mid Ulster District Council) – new arts, literary and visitor centre dedicated to the Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney in Bellaghy, the heart of Mid-Ulster (Excellence in Planning for Built Heritage)
  • Manor House, Rathlin Refurbishment Project (Department for Infrastructure NI/Rathlin Development) – £1m refurb of the 18th century listed, National Trust manor – which now houses an inn – on Rathlin Island (Excellence in Planning to Create Economically Successful Places)
  • Crookedstone Road Solar Farm (Lightsource Revewable Energy) – Northern Ireland’s first large-scale solar farm, capable of generating 4.83 Megawatts, it is connected directly to Belfast International Airport’s electricity network and is providing 27% of the airport’s annual electricity demand (Excellence in Planning for the Innovative Delivery of Infrastructure)
  • Kim Boal – Planning Officer at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council (Young Planner of the Year)


Beverly Clyde, RTPI Northern Ireland Chair said:
“It is an honour for these entries to be listed as finalists given the fierce competition. The shortlist reflects the hard work and dedication put into the projects and recognises the positive impact planning has on the area. As a finalist they are getting the national and international recognition they deserve.”

Andrew Jones, Practice Leader Design Planning + Economics, AECOM said:
“AECOM is proud to once again be a headline sponsor of this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The finalists are a diverse mixture of outstanding examples of planning, which demonstrate the impact the profession has on quality and delivery in the built environment.”

David Jackson, Head of Planning, Savills said:
“Savills is delighted to be a headline sponsor of the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. The finalists reflect the positive impact planning has on our communities across the UK, Ireland and internationally through projects, plans and people.”

The Awards ceremony will be held at Milton Court at The Barbican, London on 15 June 2017. Tickets to the ceremony go on sale on 7 February.

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