Applications open for The William Sutton Prize as new categories and judging panel are revealed

Following the success of The William Sutton Prize in its first three years, Clarion Housing Group has announced that applications are open for the fourth year of the scheme.

This year sees changes to both the categories and the judging panel to bring renewed focus to the Prize and encourage applicants to put forward potential solutions to key challenges facing society today.

Formerly known as The William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design, this year Clarion is seeking applications from architects and designers for The William Sutton Prize for Sustainability and Placemaking.

Areas of focus include, but are not restricted to, creating sustainable and successful communities, sustainable architecture and construction, energy efficiency and innovations in promoting biodiversity and green living.

There have been changes to The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation, too, with organisers looking for innovative concepts, products or services to meet this year’s theme of ‘A Home for All’.

Applicants will need to show how their idea has the potential to deliver positive change for individuals, disadvantaged groups or communities under one of three key focus areas: innovation in tackling homelessness and addressing temporary accommodation needs, solutions for housing an ageing population and using technology and new ideas to support successful and sustainable tenancies.

The William Sutton Prize was developed by Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing, 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.

There is up to £20,000 on offer for the winners to help turn their bright ideas into reality, with the funding provided by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group. In addition, the concept that wins The William Sutton Prize for Sustainability and Placemaking will be trialled on one of Clarion’s major upcoming development sites.

The winning entries for The William Sutton Prize for Sustainability and Placemaking will be determined by a panel led by Clare Miller, Group Chief Executive of Clarion, and including Jas Bhalla, Founder of William Sutton Prize-winning Jas Bhalla Architects, Alastair Mant, Director of Business Transformation at the UK Green Building Council, Matthew Morgan, Director of the Quality of Life Foundation, and Richard Cook, Group Development Director of Clarion.

To determine the winner of The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation, Clare Miller will be joined by a panel including Rebecca Sycamore, Executive Director of Strategy and Development of St Mungo’s (Clarion’s charity partner), and Jeremy Porteus, Chief Executive of Housing LIN. Also part of the panel is Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO of Micro Rainbow which won The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation in its inaugural year and has gone on to be named one of the top 100 UK social enterprises in NatWest's SE100 Index.

Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group, said:
“William Sutton’s legacy was to transform lives and communities and it’s been a real privilege to see our winners doing the same over the last few years. There are some hugely talented architects, designers and social entrepreneurs out there and through the Prize, we’re committed to helping them develop their ideas to make a difference to their communities.”

The winner of The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation in its third year was The Hackney School of Food: a hub providing ‘seed to spoon’ food education for primary school children in Hackney delivered through a collaboration between charity Chefs in Schools, the LEAP Federation – made up of three state primary schools in Hackney – and architect Surman Weston.

Polly Praill, Head of Development at The Hackney School of Food, said:
“From the outset, we wanted the Hackney School of Food to be replicated across many more schools, sharing our vision for food education with communities across the country. Winning The William Sutton Prize has enabled us to make this a reality by funding the development of a toolkit to equip and inspire others to create their own School of Food – we’re excited to see what happens next.”

The winner of The William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design in its third year was Ecomotive and SNUG Homes’ proposal for a construction and training hub in Bristol that will enable residents to co-produce eco-friendly, modular housing in response to local needs.

Anna Hope, Director of Training and Consultancy at Ecomotive, said:
“Winning The William Sutton Prize has given us a massive boost – not only by raising the profile of our project but also through giving us the opportunity to collaborate with professionals from the Clarion team to scale up our plans and increase our social impact. We would encourage anyone with projects or ideas in the field of sustainable housing and placemaking to apply for this award, which is unique in its scope, vision and the practical support available to help turn ideas into reality.”

Applications close at midday on 6 October. Find out more about The William Sutton Prize or apply now.