The Utopia Buildings
THREE imaginative and contemporary Yorkshire Dales buildings have been shortlisted in a leading countryside organisations Rural Buildings Award scheme.
Held in association with property consultancy, Knight Frank, the Country Land and Business Association awards aim to showcase the very best new or converted rural buildings that reflect not only a wide range of diversification projects, but also high quality design and workmanship.
The three shortlisted buildings in the Yorkshire Dales area are Utopia at Broughton Hall, Skipton; Low Bramley Grange Farm at Grewelthorpe near Ripon and Strid Wood Visitor Centre at Barden - part of the popular Bolton Abbey estate.
According to CLA regional director for Yorkshire, Dorothy Fairburn, the standard of entries for this year's competition has been outstanding: "The sheer scale of some of the projects and the community benefit that they provide is remarkable," she said.
One such example is Utopia on the Broughton Hall Business Park and Estate in Skipton, owned by Roger Tempest. Following many years of neglect, the estate's walled garden was completely overhauled in 2005, including the construction of Utopia - an ultra modern café and bistro in a contemporary garden setting.
The new venue has proven to be a popular focal point for many local groups and social occasions including schools, clubs and wedding parties.
The Dales buildings will be judged alongside three other Yorkshire properties and regional judging for the Rural Buildings Award scheme will take place during September. Winners will then go through to the national judging panel in October from which the winners will be announced at an award ceremony in London.
Miss Fairburn added: "All six of these projects are shining examples of how forward-thinking land managers have taken redundant buildings and transformed them into valuable assets not only for their own businesses but also for the local economy."