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News11 October 2023

Prestigious architectural practices lead the way as shortlist for Clarion’s William Sutton Prize is announced


The UK’s largest provider of affordable housing, Clarion Housing Group, has revealed the shortlist for the fifth year of The William Sutton Prize, developed to celebrate the legacy of its founder.

The William Sutton Prize supports the growth of high potential ideas that tackle our most urgent sustainability challenges. Six proposals have been shortlisted focusing on themes such as zero carbon homebuilding, improving biodiversity and green infrastructure.

The shortlist includes projects by award-winning architectural practices, Allies & Morrison and Bell Phillips, Urban Growth Learning Gardens, a social enterprise which empowers communities to create and care for natural urban spaces, Building with Nature, an organisation which provides planners and developers with guidance on delivering high quality green infrastructure, Bridport Cohousing, a groundbreaking cohousing project, and Material Index Ltd, an organisation focused on supporting the circular economy.

This year has seen the Prize move to one overall funding pot of £75,000, inviting applications from organisations with ideas that will help improve the carbon footprint of the social housing sector and its residents and accelerate the sector’s transition to net zero in a just and fair way.

Shortlisted applicants have bid for grants of up to £50,000 to help turn their bright ideas into reality, with the funding provided by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group.

Winners will also receive a tailored package of business support from Clarion as part of a 12-18 month programme that will complement the funding received.

The William Sutton Prize was developed by Clarion Housing Group to celebrate the legacy of its founder, William Sutton, as a 19th century innovator and philanthropist who bequeathed his fortune to improve the quality of social housing.

Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group, said:

“The scale of the challenge we face is huge as we move towards a net zero future, and the only way we can get there is to work together – that’s what’s inspired the shift in focus for the fifth year of The William Sutton Prize.

“It’s really exciting to see such innovative projects coming through and it’s certainly going to be a difficult job for the judges to decide on the winners.”

Jas Bhalla, Founder of Jas Bhalla Architects and William Sutton Prize winner in 2019, said:

“I'm so excited to be acting as a judge for The William Sutton Prize for the second year running. Winning the prize in 2019 was hugely significant for our young practice and it’s been incredibly gratifying to see the award go from strength to strength in recent years. This year's six shortlisted projects are really compelling and are testament to our industry's unwavering and rigorous commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of new homes and buildings.”

The winners of The William Sutton Prize will be announced at an event on 23 November.


The full list of shortlisted entries for the fifth William Sutton Prize is as follows: