River Soar Footbridge


Explorations Architecture with Buro Happold has been announced as winners of the competition to design a new foot and cycle bridge crossing the River Soar in Leicester.

The project vision sought to stimulate the regeneration of the Abbey Meadows area of the city and to connect the proposed Leicester Science Park and the adjacent National Space Centre, with the residential development to be carried out at Wolsey Island on the opposite bank of the River Soar. The competition was promoted by Leicester Regeneration Company and Leicester City Council.

The winning team fought off strong competition from Allies and Morrison with Price and Myers; Knight Architects with Gifford and Partners; Moxon Architects with Arup; McDowell + Benedetti with Arup and Ramboll Whitbybird.


This new competition seeks suitable architect or engineering-led teams for the design of a new foot and cycle bridge crossing the River Soar in Leicester. The estimated budget for the project has been set at £1.5 million to include all professional design fees.

Category Project Competition / Competition Result
Type International, Project, EoI, Open, Two-Stage, Onymous
Genre Bridge
Country Leicester, UK
RegDeadline 4 December 2008 GoogleCal iCal
4 December 2008 (Must be Received)
Eligibility Registered architect or Engineering-led design teams

Leicester is the largest city in the East Midlands area of England and is currently being transformed by a series of major public and private sector initiatives.
Leicester Regeneration Company (LRC) was set up in a strong partnership with Leicester City Council, English Partnerships and East Midlands Development Agency, to establish a co-ordinated masterplan to broaden the city’s economic base, by integrated improvements in employment, housing, shopping, graduate retention, public realm and environmental standards.
Over 8,000 new jobs are to be created, shifting the base of Leicester’s economy into new, higher value sectors. Employment is being created in the New Business Quarter; in science and technology related industries at the Science Park; and in the retail sector at the recently extended Highcross Leicester shopping centre.
Leicester has some 11 miles of water frontage to the River Soar and the Grand Union Canal. The reconnection of the city with this important, but as yet underutilised environmental asset, is a critical component of the regeneration aims.
The Abbey Meadows regeneration area spans the River Soar and the canal, just to the north of the city centre and is already home to the UK National Space Centre, designed by Grimshaw Architects and opened in 2001.

Jim Eyre, Wilkinson Eyre (RIBA Adviser)
James Sinclair (Leicester Regeneration Company)
Cllr Ross Willmott (Leader, Leicester City Council)
Cllr Patrick Kitterick (Cabinet Lead, Regeneration, Leicester City Council)
Chas Bishop (National Space Centre)
Andrew Smith (Leicester City Council)
Anne Provan (Leicester City Council)
Engineering Adviser - to be confirmed
Joanne Wallis (RIBA Competitions Officer (observer only))

Winner: Design Commission
Shortlisted competitors: £6,000

Entry Fee

Expressions of interest should comprise no more than 20 single sided A4 pages, providing the following information:
1. Full contact details of the practice, identifying one point of contact for the competition.
2. Introduction to the practice and motivational statement
3. CV’s of key team members
4. Details of relevant projects, including illustrations.

Submission Address
RIBA Competitions Office
6 Melbourne Street
Leeds LS2 7PS

Panel meet to select shortlist: 9 December 2008
Brief issued to shortlist: week commencing 15 December 2008
Submission deadline: week commencing 2 February 2009
Final judging (including interviews): 19 February 2009
Announcement of Result: March 2009

Leicester Regeneration Company and Leicester City Council, RIBA

Official Website