Property professionals behind the North East’s top initiatives and developments in the built environment are being given more time to gain recognition for their talent and valuable contribution to local communities, following the extension of the 2017 RICS Awards, North East in a bid to generate a record number of entries.

The deadline for the annual RICS Awards – which have become affectionately known as the property ‘Oscars’ – is now Friday 27 January. The awards celebrate each UK region’s best schemes in the land, property, construction and environment sectors, along with the teams behind them; and with over 300 quality entries already received, the 2017 RICS Awards are being hotly tipped as one of the best yet.

Carolyn Robins, RICS Awards Manager said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response from industry professionals in the North East who have entered some remarkable projects; from small scale pioneering schemes, to large multi-million pound developments.

“But we know that many more outstanding property schemes have recently completed in the region too, which fully deserve the recognition that winning an RICS Award can bring. So with this in mind, we’re anticipating a record year for entries and a shortlist of truly inspirational schemes which will then go on to compete for their respective category award.”

There are eight categories to enter in which professionals must demonstrate how they have used their skills to develop, regenerate and conserve the environment in which we live and work.

The categories are: Building Conservation, Commercial property, Community Benefit, Design through Innovation, Infrastructure, Regeneration, Residential, and Tourism & Leisure.

There is also an overall ‘Project of the Year title’ which is awarded to the entry that demonstrates outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. Last year, the accolade went to Teesside University’s new £20m teaching facility – known as The Curve – for transforming what was previously a brownfield site in to a striking landmark which links the North and South sides of the campus.

The Curve also won two category awards; Design through Innovation and Regeneration. Other schemes recognised at the 2016 RICS Awards, North East include Maling Exchange at Hoults Yard, Newcastle Upon Tyne (Building Conservation and Commercial property), North Durham Academy, Stanley (Community Benefit), Emergency Care Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead (Infrastructure) and The Paise, Hexham (Residential property).

All category winners go on to compete against other regional winners at the national 2017 RICS Awards Grand Final, for the chance to be crowned the overall UK winner in their respective category. The Emergency Care Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead scooped the national Infrastructure accolade at the 2016 RICS Awards Grand Final.

Chair of the RICS Awards, North East judging panel, Adam Serfontein of the Hanro Group said: “These awards give property professionals in the North East the opportunity to showcase their extraordinary talent, skills and innovation, whilst raising the profile of our region as a home to some of the most inspirational and cherished buildings. I wish all of the entrants the best of luck, and urge those who haven’t entered to do so to be in with a chance of gaining industry and national recognition.”

The 2017 RICS Awards, North East will be presented at a glittering black-tie ceremony on Friday 21 April at the Civic Center, Newcastle.

For further information or to enter the 2017 RICS Awards, North East visit: www.rics.org/awards