Every two years the Lord Mayor of Newcastle hosts their Design Awards for buildings and projects that have made outstanding contributions to our community and the city across eight award categories.

At this year’s ceremony last Thursday night, our Eagles Community Arena won both the community value and social accessibility category and went on to be given the final accolade of the evening, the Lord Mayor’s Special Award.

Councillor David Cook, Lord Mayor of Newcastle presented Paul and Sam Blake with the arena’s awards

Judges from Newcastle City Council, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Northumberland and Newcastle Society and the Royal Town Planning Institute praised the ECA for taking professional basketball very successfully to the Elswick area “when it would have been easy to choose elsewhere.”

The panel added that they were delighted with the flexibility of the purpose-built events venue had such a flexible layout in order to provide benefits for the wider community, hosting everything from social events for the elderly, to sports coaching for young people, meetings for local businesses and formal dinners.

Sam Blake, our Eagles Community Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It’s quite overwhelming for the ECA to be honoured by the Lord Mayor.

“It has been a whirlwind first 12 months with close to 200 events in our first year, hosting some of the largest companies in the region, educational activity with our partners at Newcastle College, local weekly community events, a range of sporting activity that sees close to 2,000 people a week playing sport in the venue and of course Eagles home nights.

Paul Blake, Managing Director of Newcastle Eagles, added: “We have our first international basketball event coming in the next month; Team GB vs Germany in a European Championship qualifier and we expect an even more diverse range of events across the next 12 months.”

Councillor David Cook, Lord Mayor of Newcastle, said: “It is inspiring to see such a wide range of projects putting environmental and community considerations right at their heart.

“I am pleased to see everything from the sensitive conservation and restoration of our historic buildings to major new builds among our winners, and I hope they will provide shining examples for others to follow.”