A community facility in South Tyneside has scooped international recognition at this year's Civic Trust Awards.
Hebburn Central won the Special Award for Community Impact and Engagement at the awards held at The Swan in the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.
The award is given to the scheme that has demonstrated how successful community engagement can help deliver the highest standards of design whilst meeting the needs of local people.
Hebburn Central, which was designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects on behalf of South Tyneside Council, opened last year. The £13million facility features a 25m swimming pool, a sauna and steamroom, fitness suite, sports hall, dance studio, soft play area, library, learning centre, café and customer service centre.
Leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Iain Malcolm, said: "This facility at the very heart of the town, provides a range of activities under one roof.
"However, it is also a prime example of how public investment can act as a catalyst to stimulate private sector development. Since the facility opened its doors 18 month ago supermarket Aldi has confirmed its decision to invest in Hebburn, demonstrating that the Council's visionary approach is successfully making transformational change in our communities."
Chief Executive Martin Swales said "High quality design is at the heart of every regeneration scheme in South Tyneside.
"Hebburn Central, in particular, demonstrates how our developments combine innovative and ambitious design with the needs of local residents to create outstanding functional and modern buildings."
The Civic Trust's National Panel Chair, Keith Williams, described Hebburn Central as having "enduring elegance and fine community facilities."
He added: "It is testament to a forward-thinking local authority client investing intelligently in its community."
This year's Civic Trust Awards attracted 264 international entries. Of these, 58 projects were awarded either an Award or a Commendation. Hebburn Central received an Award and then went on to receive one of just five Special Awards.
Lee McLaughlin, A Partner with FaulknerBrowns said: "To receive both a Civic Trust Award in addition to a Special Award for Community Impact and Engagement marks a hugely significant moment in the realisation of a new vision for Hebburn.
"Our approach at Hebburn Central was to make modern community facilities more accessible by dissolving boundaries, whether that was between the building and its users or between the building and the town centre. We are privileged to have worked so closely with South Tyneside Council and the wider community on this project, which is a showcase for the positive impact that a bold and progressive piece of architecture and urban place-making can deliver. We look forward to its continued success with great anticipation."
The Civic Trust Awards scheme was established in 1959 to recognise the very best in architecture, design, planning, landscape and public art. Awards are given to projects that demonstrate high quality architecture or design, have demonstrated sustainability, are accessible to all users and have made a positive cultural, social or economic contribution to the local community.