PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair this week backed excellence in public building design with the announcement of a new special category for this year's British Construction Industry Awards.
The prime minister's Better Public Building Award is backed by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and the Office of Government Commerce. It will recognise the UK's best public building or infrastructure project to be completed in 2000.
'I am delighted to be able to put my name to this award, ' said Blair. 'Good design can be good for business and good for the environment. This award recognises the progress which is being made in the vitally important area of design quality.'
The new award was announced by chief secretary to the Treasury Andrew Smith on Tuesday.
Smith explained: 'This award reflects the prime minister's personal interest in excellence in public building and his commitment to raising the standard by identifying and rewarding high quality design and construction.'
The judging panel for this and all other 2001 BCIA categories will be made up of eminent engineers and architects and will be led by CABE chairman Sir Stuart Lipton.
Details of how to submit entries for the award - which will be open to the UK's best buildings and infrastructure commissioned either by or on behalf of local or central government or by a grant aided organisation - will be available on 22 February when the new look 2001 BCIA is launched.