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The North West 2020 Annual Survey The Heath Business and Technical Park – rising to the challenges of the future

SOG Group, owner and operator of The Heath Business and Technical Park, has commissioned The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to hold a ‘Vision of Future Living’ competition to generate conceptual ideas which might be adopted for the transformation of the company’s 60-acre site in Runcorn, Cheshire.

SOG has its own vision to see its site turned into Heath Park over the next decade where people will work, live and play in a state-of-the-art location which embraces the business park along with new housing, community and leisure facilities. It is hoped the RIBA competition will contribute lots of ideas that will help to determine what The Heath might look like in the future with the goal of turning the site into a sustainable, multi-use and net carbon-free environment.

The competition initially seeks non-site-specific conceptual ideas on the design of future workplaces, living spaces and external spaces and how they relate to one another. SOG is particularly interested in ideas which promote health and happiness and help to eradicate loneliness and poverty.

SOG’s owner and Managing Director, John Lewis, says: “With RIBA’s help I am challenging forward thinkers to design a vision of future living that may help us to determine how best to rejuvenate our site at The Heath Business and Technical Park. We need to protect our planet for future generations, and respond to a global technological explosion which will change the way we live and work.

John Lewis, MBE

“The Heath Business and Technical Park has been a successful regeneration project that supports 2,000 jobs. We’ve

taken an aging single-occupancy corporate site and given it a new lease of life. With the regeneration of The Heath complete, now is the perfect time for us to re-invent this site into a location that rises to the challenges of the future and sets the standards for how we


should be living and working in decades to come. We look forward to seeing some truly innovative ideas about how to design and procure sustainable homes and workplaces that are fit for the future.”

A panel of acclaimed architects will be judging the competition entries including:

Paul Monaghan, Liverpool City Region Design Champion and an advisor for the Building, Better, Building Beautiful Commission. He is also a member of the Design Council’s National Design Review Panel.

Professor Rachel Cooper OBE, a Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University, and President of the Design Research Society.

‹ Hugh Broughton is considered the world’s leading designer of research facilities in the Polar Regions and has sat on numerous prestigious architectural juries.

Mr Broughton, the appointed RIBA Advisor for the competition, said: “The regeneration of The Heath bears testament to what can be achieved when people are a project's number one priority. This competition will build upon the exemplary work of SOG in Runcorn which has preserved jobs and protected the interests of the local community. We hope that designers from around the world will respond with their vision for a brighter future which will enhance well- being, preserve the environment and harnesses technology for the good of us all."

The RIBA competition is open to design professionals and students. Further details about the competition and how to enter can be found on the RIBA competitions website or go to

As well as its success at The Heath, SOG last year sold its sister site at Londoneast-uk in Dagenham to a trading company owned by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. SOG was responsible for helping to attract over £2 billion of investment in a regeneration programme it spearheaded in Dagenham at a former major pharmaceutical plant.

For further information on SOG and The Heath Business and Technical Park go to:


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