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Double award for ECf

The developer behind Wakefield’s new £140 million Merchant Gate scheme is celebrating this week after receiving two major industry awards.

English Cities Fund (ECf) won the ‘Developer of the Year’ for the North and ‘Large Developer of the Year’ accolades at the 2010 Excellence Awards organised by Premier Guarantee - the market-leading provider of structural warranties, building control and developer support services.

Large Developer of the Year was awarded to the Merchant Gate development, where ECf has recently completed phase one of the scheme to provide 66 contemporary apartments, 35,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, 48,000 sq ft of grade ‘A’ office space based and a new multi-storey car park.

Emma Cordingley, development director for ECf, commented: “This award is testimony to a landmark scheme in Wakefield which is entering a really exciting phase and is playing a pivotal role within the city’s wider regeneration programme.

“With the first stage of the development now complete, we’re currently receiving a significant number of enquiries from companies ranging from major national corporations through to local Wakefield businesses which are looking to expand, despite the tough economic climate.  In addition to Merchant Gate offering a vibrant urban living quarter to residents, many retail and leisure companies are also recognising the benefits of the scheme’s prime location next to Wakefield Westgate, with the train station attracting high levels of footfall in the region of 5,000 people a day.”

The Premier Guarantee Excellence awards are designed to recognise the very best of the UK housing and construction market and inspire others to build outstanding developments to the highest quality.

Mike Swatton, business development director for Premier Guarantee added: “We’ve received our highest number of entries this year and the standard has been nothing short of exceptional.  We felt that ECf and its contract partners demonstrated technical competency coupled with first rate project management skills and high levels of customer service. 

Our judges were very impressed with the site at Merchant Gate in Wakefield - the quality of construction and attention to detail were outstanding.”

Merchant Gate is being delivered by ECf, a partnership between Muse Developments, Legal and General and national housing and regeneration agency the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), with financial support from Wakefield Council, Yorkshire Forward and the European Regional Development Fund.