RNRP won not one but two national awards at last Thursday's "Creating the Future Awards" ceremony at the Roundhouse, Camden, which was held by the Academy for Sustainable Communities. The ASC is the Government's national body established to promote closer working between different disciplines necessary for the creation of sustainable communities, and tranforming places, across the country.
The first award was in the "Vision for Place" Category. This was for "A public body or partnership that has led the way at the local or regional level to create and implement a shared vision of place". Since its establishment in 2003, RNRP has developed a revolutionary web based planning tool (the ECA&GI suite, which is available free on the website www.rnrpenvironmentalcharacter.org.uk ) to inform the planning process, pioneered and promoted the concept of Green Infrastructure ("Green Infrastructure is a network of multi-functional green space, which contributes to, a high quality natural and built environment and is required to deliver 'liveability' for new and existing communities"), and developed and secured government and partnership funding for environmental schemes, which has seen £12 million of green investment in Northamptonshire. This work includes Signature Projects such as the Salcey Tree To Walk and Stanwick Lakes, as well developing a strategy for the Nene Valley and support for a whole range of projects including the refurbishment of some of Northampton's parks, which link into the wider vision for Northampton to be the gateway to the Nene Valley, and community based schemes for sensory gardens and the management of local areas of green space.
The second award was the Co-operative Award for Excellence, which the judges selected as the overall winner of the national award scheme, for which there were over 150 submissions. This award was in recognition of the revolutionary nature of RNRP's work in setting a new agenda for the management of 21st century landscapes.
Christopher Davidge, Chair of RNRP said "The Board and I are delighted that RNRP's work with its partners has been nationally recognised by the Academy. This confirms our belief that RNRP is leading the way in the management and enhancement of Northamptonshire's unique but undervalued environment, which is being undertaken in the context of the growth agenda. Our work is now regarded by many respected organisations as an exemplar."
Michel Kerrou, Chief Executive, said "RNRP's vision is for Northamptonshire in ten years time to be recognised internationally for the quality of its environment, whilst accommodating an unprecedented level of growth. The integration of Green Infrastructure into the planning of growth settlements and the surrounding countryside will provide long lasting improvements to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of both new and existing communities."
"Louse Johnson, Chair of the Stakeholder Steering Group, added that "RNRP, as a Community Interest Company, is in a unique position to work with partners from the public, private and third sectors, and to act as a catalyst to develop and, through partnership, secure the implementation of a wide range of environmental initiatives that would simply not otherwise be possible. These awards recognise the invaluable contribution and added-value that RNRP and its partners bring to Northamptonshire".
Notes to editors
The River Nene Regional Park (RNRP)
RNRP is a Community Investment Company that can hold assets and land on behalf of the community. It is an independent organisation that was constituted under the framework of the Treasury's Green Book and recognised as a Treasury model for environment in relation to sustainable growth area funding delivery.
"By 2016 the RNRP partnership will be an independent, inclusive, reciprocal and beneficial partnership of public, private and third sector members. It will be nationally and internationally recognised as the centre of excellence for the piloting, co-ordination and delivery of regional sustainable development, addressing strategic issues such as Climate Change, the enhancement of local biodiversity and the innovative development of the environment as an asset for social development, education, leisure & recreation, heritage and cultural activity, and as a primary vehicle of economic regeneration."