High number of entries for this year’s event is an indication of both the esteem in which the awards are held and a sign of resurgence in the Scottish market
They have always elicited a strong response but in this their 10th year the The Herald Property Awards for Scotland in association with Burness Paull have attracted their greatest ever number of entries.
Submissions have been arriving steadily since this year’s awards were launched, but in the days leading up to the closing date, that steady stream turned into a flood resulting in the biggest-ever cohort of contenders in the history of the event.
According to Andrew McFarlane, Chairman of the judging panel and a consultant with D M Hall surveyors, the numbers are an indication both of the resurgence of the house building industry in Scotland and of the high esteem in which The Herald Property Awards for Scotland are held.
He says: "I regularly go into site offices and find a Herald Property Award displayed on the wall. Winning one in seen as a real badge of honour and a symbol of excellence."
There are 14 separate categories covering all aspects of new build, from family homes to apartments, as well as awards for those property professionals who have performed at the highest level.
This year, those categories that have produced the greatest response are: Best Regeneration Project, sponsored by Scotland’s Towns Partnership; Development of the Year supported by Scotland’s Homes and Affordable Housing Development of the Year.
Andrew McFarlane says: "Regeneration projects can be the catalyst that kick-starts the revitalisation of a whole community and the financial restrictions involved in building affordable housing can lead to really innovative solutions so it will be fascinating to see how entries in these categories impress the judges during our site visits."
Those site visits start this month and between now and August the judges will travel the length and breadth of Scotland, inspecting every single entry. There are nine judges in total including the Chairman and Doreen Smith, of Doreen Smith Interiors, who have both been on the judging panel since the awards were launched.
The others are Tom Barclay, Chief Executive of Clyde Valley Housing Association: Brian Fulton, Director, Ross & Liddell; Alison Glen, Director, Barham Glen Architects; Sarah Speirs, Director, RICS Scotland; Gordon Barbour, Development Manager, Glasgow Housing Association; Scott Peterkin, Partner, Burness Paull and Richard Blair, Director, AHR Architects.
The calibre of the judges and the exhaustive adjudication process are what make The Herald Property Awards the most prestigious of their kind.
In these awards, every property is inspected and not just those on the short list. In this year of record entries that will involve each team of judges making dozens of visits to locations across Scotland in order to determine the strength of each submission, assessing each home, commercial project, regeneration scheme, renovation or apartment for quality of design and build, flexibility of interior space, location within the wider community and for how well it meets the needs of its target market.
Scott Peterkin, Partner, Burness Paull, predicted at the outset that this year’s awards would attract significant entries as activity in the house industry accelerated. He says: "It will be interesting to see how that activity has translated itself into quality housing at all levels in the market."
Magnus Llewellin, Editor in Chief, Herald & Times, says: "The Herald Property Awards for Scotland launched 12 months before the housing industry in Scotland was dealt a severe blow, so it is gratifying to see how in this, their 10th year, they are flourishing and that the housing market has also recovered."
Once every property has been inspected, a shortlist of finalists will be announced in August before the winners are revealed at a black tie ceremony in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow, on Thursday, September 22.
To book your table to attend this year’s awards ceremony, contact Senior Events Executive, Claire Hunter on 0141 302 7319 or visit our website to download your booking form at: newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/the-herald-property-awards-for-scotland/