Entries for the 2024 York Design awards are now open!

 The Awards are free to enter due to the support of our kind sponsors.  The awards celebrate a wide range of properties including single and multiple dwelling residential developments, community and commercial buildings, and open space/public realm/landscape.

To learn more about how to enter or to submit your application, please click here

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Challenging Convention, Supporting Good Design

Organisations choose to support the York Design Awards for all kinds of reasons, but all are united in sharing our fundamental belief that good design is vital to continually evolve York’s rich architectural heritage and ensure the city is well positioned for economic and social prosperity.

These values resonate loudly with our main sponsor Hiscox. The company is the UK’s leading specialist insurer and has supported the awards since 2013 – the year it chose York as the location for its first ever purpose-built office building. That building is now more than 12 months into its life as a cross-functional office in which Hiscox accommodates departments ranging from broker support and recruitment to customer experience, HR and IT.

Hiscox C

What Hiscox did with their new office building was true to their word. The building was designed by renowned architects, Make, to be unique but sit comfortably in its context and support a spirit at the heart of the business to challenge convention. The result is a York Design Award-winning building that is arguably one of the city’s most architecturally interesting projects of its kind in recent years, leaving a legacy as the Stonebow and Peasholme Green area undergoes a radical transformation.

Art, design and business to the core

At the core of Hiscox is a passion for art; they insure it, they own it and they encourage it. This ethos is a perfect fit with the York Design Awards, according to Kate Markham who heads up the Hiscox office in York.

Hiscox B

“We enjoy art and design as a business and our York office reflects this extremely well,” says Kate. “Traditional artistic form mixes with unconventional and contemporary art.  In our office, this most prominently takes the form of a decommissioned rocket we have positioned in the atrium of the building. There aren’t many offices in the world that can boast such a feature in their office building!

“Supporting the York Design Awards is therefore very important to us. It’s a programme which does great things for promoting good design whilst bringing together a wide variety of organisations, businesses and the general public to talk about what’s important to the city. And it is a key part of our wider support programme in York, which also includes sponsorship of the Aesthetica Art Prize, a global competition supporting emerging contemporary artists, and the National Centre for Early Music.”

Aligned with Hiscox’s core values of challenging convention, having courage, providing quality products, excelling in the service it provides and being human in its approach, the company is also helping to support local small businesses. In addition to sponsoring the Innovation Showcase at Venturefest York, it has established Hiscox Business Club which gives entrepreneurs free access to office and meeting space within its award-winning building. Information about membership can be found here.

Hiscox D

Kate continues: “We are a business that actively wants to support the communities in which we operate and that is particularly so with initiatives that have an art or entrepreneurial element. But that’s not all we do to be a good neighbour – this year we are once again handling calls here in York for Comic Relief on 24th March. Our team will take the generous donations from members of the public as part of our UK-wide support and we are absolutely thrilled to be playing our part.”

Growing with York’s great talent base

The mix of departments and job roles accommodated at Hiscox in York, and its commitment to ensure 80% of personnel are locally-based, may have presented some recruitment headaches had the firm chosen to locate in most other UK cities – not in York though. The company’s ambition to use the full capacity of its office space will eventually see over 500 staff based in York, and this will see the creation of many more new, local jobs over the coming months and years.

Kate adds: “York is a great place to live and work and we have already built a very talented workforce in the three years that we’ve had a presence in the city. We’ve filled some very specialist roles with local people which is a testament to the talent we have on our doorstep – something York, its schools and its universities should be extremely proud of. We are really excited at the prospect of further growth here in the city and doubling the size of our team here at Peasholme Green.”

Details of the roles available at Hiscox are posted on the website – click here to view the latest vacancies.

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