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Urban Splash looks to London for Morecambe shortlist

Urban Splash has shortlisted five London practices for its high-profile Morecambe Bay competition.

However, self-styled architectural guru Wayne Hemingway, who teamed up with Foreign Office Architects to enter the contest, has not made the final list of six.

The broadcaster was one of more than 100 entrants bidding to regenerate the 4.7 ha Central Promenade site in the Lancashire resort - which is also Hemingway's home town ajplus 18.10.05.

Urban Splash has instead asked London-based practices Rogerson Keusgen King Architects, FLACQ, Darling Associates, DLA Architecture and IDM UK, back for interview.

Glasgow-based ADF Architecture & Design, the only shortlisted firm based outside the capital, will also be invited to discuss its proposals.

Appointed by Lancaster City Council to revamp the neglected seafront site, Urban Splash wants to turn the area into an 'inspirational and imaginative mixed-use development' and has already begun overhauling the neighbouring Art Deco Midland Hotel - a Grade-II* gem designed by Oliver Hill.

Competition chair and advisor Sarah Wigglesworth said: 'All six teams are relatively unknown and there are no superstars - this in itself is interesting and refreshing and demonstrates why it is important for competitions to be anonymous.

'These represented the cream of the various types of proposal and show the broad spectrum of thinking in addressing the regeneration potential for the site.'

She added: 'It is fantastic that a competition such as this can again provide an opportunity for newcomers to come to prominence and have the chance to work with one of the UK's most successful developers and forward-looking local authorities.'

A winner is expected to be announced in February.

by Richard Waite

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