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INVERNESS DESIGN COMPETITION

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The RIAS announced the winners of its design competition for Inverness last week, which was planned to coincide with the convention. Nearly £7,000 in prize money was awarded to competitors in three categories - architects, students of architecture and schoolchildren.

THE BRIEF AND THE WINNERS In the run-up to Inverness'attempt to become Scotland's choice to bid for City of Culture 2008, entrants were asked to sketch designs for two sites close to the River Ness in the centre of the city - the Bank Street riverfront between the northern pedestrian suspension bridge and Bridge Street, and the combined Jarvis/Caledonian Hotel and HIE office building site.

Winners in the architecture category: equal first prize and a cheque for £2,000 went to Bruce Brebner, Bruce Newlands, Karen Anderson and Steven Cochrane of Anderson Bell Christie in Glasgow, with William Watt from Nicoll Russell Studios in Broughty Ferry also winning equal first prize and a cheque for £2,000. Richard Adam Napier from Douglas NR Thompson & Matthew Benions in Glasgow took third place and £1,000.Lynne Sproull, Angela Carr and Gavin Lawrie from Inverness received a mention.

OTHER AWARDS In the student category, Seamus Lennon from the Mackintosh School at the Glasgow School of Art clinched the RIAS Burnet Prize and a cheque for £600, with a commendation and £150 going to Gunner Groves Raines from Strathclyde University.Thirteen schoolchildren from Muirtown Primary School and Merkinch Primary School were named winners of the children's prize.

CITATION RIAS president Gordon Davies and city provost Bill Smith, who were among the judges of the competition, said: 'These sketch competitions show just how much design talent there is out there and how the city could explore ideas for its future. We hope this will encourage the citizens to discuss options for change which combine flair and imagination with sound business and urban design principles.'

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