‘Exemplary’ Douglas town centre scheme wins 2014 Natural Stone Award

Douglas town centre regeneration gained further positive recognition after the scheme’s innovative use of granite materials won the Stone Federation’s Natural Stone Award in the landscape category.

At the awards ceremony held at London’s Russell Hotel on December 5th the scheme was singled out for employing a hard landscaping design in coloured and finished granites that acknowledged ‘the Island’s natural hues’ and which brought ‘brightness and light into the heart of the capital’.

The judges were particularly impressed with the water-cut marquetry in stone that appear as 3D motifs depicting a Manx ‘A to Y’ in Regent Street, which prompted them to comment: ‘The results are already uplifting and enhancing the area.’

The regeneration project is a partnership between the Isle of Man Government and Douglas Borough Council, realised in collaboration with key stakeholders in the town, including the Chamber of Commerce and Douglas Development Partnership, the latter responsible for the initial design concept of using a palette of different stone materials and for coordinating the Manx A-Y scheme.

Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP, a keen proponent of the regeneration project since its inception and member of the Douglas Regeneration Committee said: ‘This award is excellent news. It recognises the collective vision of all those involved in bringing about the transformation of Douglas town centre, namely to create a streetscape unique to Douglas that successfully fuses the urban, maritime, leisure and international business centre elements that distinguish our capital.

‘As the judges observed when they referred to the link between regenerated towns and economic growth, town centre regeneration is about much more than mere aesthetics. It’s about creating a vibrant, attractive town that sends out a positive “open for business” message; a town that welcomes visitors and, crucially, has the power to attract new investors and new enterprise.’

The Douglas regeneration project was entered for the award by the scheme’s landscape architects BCA Landscape of Liverpool. The granite materials were supplied by Hardscape Products Ltd of Bolton.

Held once every two years the Natural Stone Awards are an initiative of the Stone Federation of Great Britain, the official trade association for the industry.