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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 20:00 GMT 21:00 UK
Baltic awarded for community work
Baltic Arts Centre
The Baltic Arts Centre is in a former flour mill
The Baltic art centre in Gateshead has been given a top award for its excellence on two fronts.

The Centre for Contemporary Art on the banks of the River Tyne has been honoured for its excellence in design quality, and also for its contribution to the local community.

The award for the centre, housed in a former flour mill and designed by Ellis Williams, has been made by The Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba).

It is the only building in the North East of England to win a Riba award.

The announcement was made on Wednesday evening at a dinner in London in the run up to Architecture Week 2003, which runs from 20 to 29 June.

Record winners

The Tyneside venue was home to the Riba Stirling Prize in association with The Architects' Journal in 2002, and is in the running for the top prize this year.

In total 70 new buildings, a record number of winners, from across the UK and EU have received Riba awards.

These will form the longlist for The Riba Stirling Prize 2003 in association with The Architects' Journal, with the winner announced in October.

Riba North chairman John Burns said: "Baltic is an icon of regeneration for Gateshead, Tyneside and the whole region, and I am delighted it has received national recognition.

"Congratulations must go to those involved in the commissioning, design and building of the centre."

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