Pioneering Places nominated for RTPI Award for Planning

Conrad Shawcross Beacons Ramsgate
Beacons (Conrad Shawcross, 2021) at Ramsgate East Cliff Promenade. Photo: Jason Jones-Hall
  • Conrad Shawcross Beacons Ramsgate

Pioneering Places, a cultural placemaking project delivered across four locations in Kent by leading cultural and heritage organisations, is a finalist in the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Award for Planning Excellence as Best Project. The RTPI Awards celebrate outstanding plans, projects and people that demonstrate the power of planning. These awards continue to recognise and reward the most outstanding projects, teams and people helping to transform economies, environments and communities. 

Five10Twelve is delighted to have worked on this project, developing the Research and Knowledge Base website at, supporting the advocacy programme and with Five10Twelve’s Director of Development, Jason Jones-Hall, serving as Project Director on behalf of Creative Folkestone.

Jointly funded by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund, Pioneering Places focused on four different heritage sites, each of which had been abandoned, fallen into disuse or was otherwise not meeting its full potential for development, cultural or community use. 

During the three years of the project, Pioneering Places unlocked these disused or forgotten sites, with a total development and regeneration value to their communities in excess of £39m. As lead partner, Creative Folkestone worked in close partnership with leading cultural and heritage partners in each of the locations, each focused on the ultimate goal of making East Kent a better place to live, work and visit. 

These four locations and project partners included:

The Marlowe theatre Canterbury, which revitalised a Grade II listed 12th Century building, the Marlowe Kit, located in a neglected area within Canterbury’s city walls. The building has been transformed into a thriving place of creativity and learning for young people.

Fort Burgoyne in Dover, identified as heritage-at-risk due to the condition of the site and lack of agreed future use. Project delivery partner in Dover, The Land Trust, acquired this scheduled ancient monument in 2014 with a vision to make the site a key part of the community. 

Working with Turner Contemporary, Pioneering Places empowered 70 primary schoolchildren to activate and regenerate Ramsgate’s east cliff and heritage seafront through commissioning and installing a major new public artwork by internationally-renowned British artist, Conrad Shawcross.

Creative Folkestone worked with local residents, artists, architects, historians and policy makers to re-imagine the abandoned and disused brownfield site of the former Foord Road gasworks, connecting Folkestone Central station with its revived Creative Quarter. This project culminated in the installation of three stunning public artworks as part of the 2021 Triennial and the purchase of the gasworks site by Folkestone and Hythe District Council.

The Cultural Placemaking research and knowledge base website at was originally developed and launched by project partners and RTPI members, Five10Twelve, as part of the Pioneering Places project and continues as a legacy of the project.

Samara Jones-Hall, CEO of RTPI members and Pioneering Places project partner, Five10Twelve, said: 

“We are delighted to have worked with Creative Folkestone and the project partners and funders in sharing the many success stories of Pioneering Places through the project website and accompanying advocacy programme, culminating in this nomination for the prestigious RTPI Award. This is a great testament to the communities of Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Ramsgate who were inspired by these magnificent heritage sites and empowered through arts and culture”.

Winners of the RTPI South East Awards will be announced at the RTPI Awards Ceremony on 30 June 2022 at the Waterfront Hotel, Brighton, with the winners in each category eligible for the national RTPI Planning Awards to take place later in the year.

For more information about the project, please visit