Transformation of Welsh Streets named UK’s Best Residential Project

The 2019 RICS Grand Final took place on Friday 4th October at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, attracting over 500 of the UK’s property professionals and a host of leading developers.

The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) awards are regarded as the premier property and construction awards in the UK, celebrating the most innovative projects across the regions and their impact on local communities.

Competing against 11 regional finalists, including Placefirst’s The Green (North East), The Welsh Streets in Liverpool was named Best Residential project in the UK.

The Welsh Streets demonstrates how a long-term build to rent approach can deliver innovative design solutions to the growing housing crisis. Working with the proud heritage of Liverpool Placefirst, the Victorian terrace was reinvented through comprehensive remodelling that places the end user at the heart of the design process. Adjacent properties have been knocked through to create large, family homes, and all residents have access to landscaped communal gardens where once there were dark yards and alleys.

ABOVE: The Welsh Streets, Liverpool. Spacious family homes have been created through lateral conversions that offer a new quality benchmark in renting.


Tracey Hartley, Chair of the RICS National Judging Panel (residential) commented:

“Residential is by far the largest sector by value in UK real estate. This award recognises the vital and intimate link between a home and the well-being of its occupants. This should never be outweighed by a dry analysis of the purely financial returns a development might offer. Good residential development breathes life into old buildings, establishes new locations and provides the safe and secure roof over our heads we all need in order to thrive. The judges have seen an array of thoughtful residential schemes from both the public and private sectors where the needs of the occupants have been considered well.


“The Welsh Streets is a fine example of how to breathe new life into tired, rundown terraced housing. Instead of bringing in the bulldozers, sacrificing the established street layout and embedded energy of the existing buildings, Placefirst has imaginatively refurbished the houses and surrounding areas to create desirable, modern homes in an attractive community setting. At a time of acute shortage of quality rental accommodation available long-term at sensible rents, it is heartening to see a PRS scheme achieve just that”.

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Treble of awards for The Green at 2019 British Homes Awards

ABOVE: Placefirst and guests celebrate three awards for The Green. Left to Right: Tony Corr, Graeme Johnson, Zena Namih (ESO), Victoria Hoare, Martin Ellerby, Richard Godsland, Selina Cropper, Max King, Samatha France, Amy Waller (Hartlepool B.C.), Nichola Halverson, Dan Anderson (Fourth Street)


The 2019 Sunday Times British Homes Awards took place on Thursday 19th September at the luxurious Marriot Grosvenor Square in London.

Attracting hundreds of the housing industry’s leading professionals, the awards celebrate exceptional design across every aspect of housebuilding — from one-off houses to major developments, interiors to landscaping, individual extensions to placemaking on a grand scale.

Following Placefirst’s treble of awards at the 2018 British Homes Awards for The Welsh Streets, The Green enjoyed similar success, collecting three awards including the coveted Judges Award for Excellence.

The outright winner at the awards, The Green has transformed over 150 empty homes on the edge of Hartlepool town centre. Larger family homes have been created through lateral conversions, and a new park sits at the heart of the development located on the edge of Hartlepool town centre.

The Judges Award for Excellence, the highlight of the awards, is selected from the twenty award winners on the day by chair of the judging panel, renowned architect Simon Allford. Simon is a founding partner of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) and engages in the broader architectural discussion as a writer, critic, teacher, lecturer, examiner, advisor and commentator.

ABOVE: Collecting the Judges Award for Excellence. Left to Right: Amber Butchart (Host), Max King, Victoria Hoare, Nichola Halverson, Martin Ellerby, Simon Allford (Chair of Judging Panel)


To be in a position to repurpose our shared built heritage is a huge privilege for Placefirst, and we are immensely proud to have collected three prestigious awards from our peers. The Green demonstrates that, with the right approach, there is inherent flexibility in the traditional Victorian Terrace, delivering an attractive combination of new home in a heritage shell.


“For a small coastal town like Hartlepool to be recognised as delivering some of the best housing in the UK is testament not only to the hard-working team at Placefirst, but to Hartlepool Borough Council who have been hugely supportive of our work at The Green. From the outset it was clear that they wanted to do something special with the 170 empty properties which are now The Green, and they understood how our long-term Build-To-Rent investment model could unlock such a challenging regeneration project.

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