Reading 2016, Reading’s Year of Culture, has been shortlisted in the Planning and Placemaking Awards 2017 for “Best Use of Arts, Culture or Sport in Placemaking”.

The Awards, run by Planning magazine in conjunction with PlanningResource and PlacemakingResource, recognise excellence in planning-related activities such as placemaking, urban design and economic development.

Reading UK CIC, which led Reading 2016 with a range of partners including Reading Borough Council and the University of Reading, nominated Reading for the award. Reading’s entry focused on the major increase in the quality and quantity of arts and cultural activity in the town over 12 months in 2016 and its impact in shining a light on Reading as a creative place to work and live.

Nigel Horton Baker, Executive Director, Reading UK CIC, said: “Reading 2016 provided a platform on which many local arts and cultural groups could showcase their talents alongside nationally-renowned artists, creating new cultural experiences for the residents and workforce of the town.

The programme used over 40 different venues as well as public spaces to make the programme as visible and accessible as possible and raised £350,000 to invest in the town’s cultural offering. As a result, a new confidence and ambition for Reading as a cultural destination is emerging and there are exciting plans to keep up the momentum.”

The Reading 2016 programme established a national reputation for Reading as a place of culture. From Artangel’s use of Reading Prison to the national reviews of Henry I, Reading 2016 showcased Reading’s own talent and heritage as well as providing a platform for others to bring their cultural contributions to the town.

The winners will be announced on 21 June 2017 in London.  More information on the awards