It is 10 years since The Herald Property Awards for Scotland were first launched and over the course of a decade they have come to be recognised as the hallmark for home building in Scotland, highlighting the best in design and construction and setting the standard for excellence in new development.

Now the search is on to find the apartments, social housing developments, luxury properties, renovation projects, new communities and well-designed family homes that this year will be amongst the winners of The Herald Property Awards for Scotland 2016 in association with Burness Paull.

As publishers of Scotland’s Homes, The Herald has perceptive insight into the new build market and from the outset the judging process has been rigorous. For those who triumph, collecting their trophy in front of an audience of senior figures from across the property industry in Scotland at the black-tie awards ceremony is the ultimate accolade for a job well done.

There are 14 categories in this year’s awards, including Best Show Home, Best Individual New Build or Small Development and Best Luxury Home. Every year the criteria are revisited and changes are made to reflect the evolving nature of development and home building.

The awards recognise excellence in service as well as in design and build and last year’s winner of the Residential Letting Team of the Year was Macleod Lettings. Managing director, Ross Macleod says: “The win was completely unexpected given the competition we were up against. Following the win, we have had some fantastic PR and we have now opened an office in Dunblane to serve the Stirlingshire area. Being recognised as the best in the business has meant we can continue to expand our business and offer the same unique service to clients, whilst continuing to grow the business at a manageable level. We are looking forward to entering the Herald Property awards for 2016, in the hope that we can retain our crown.”

Category sponsor, SafeDeposits Scotland says:” Jen Paice, chief executive of SafeDeposits Scotland, said: “We are delighted to continue our support for The Herald Property Awards. As Scotland’s leading tenancy deposit scheme, SafeDeposits Scotland is proud to be a part of such a vibrant and industrious property sector.

“Having worked closely with professionals in the private rented sector we know there is a wealth of talent to be celebrated.”

This year awards are once again taking place in association with Burness Paull. Partner at the first Scott Peterkin who is also returning as a judge said “Burness Paull are once again delighted to sponsor The Herald Property Awards. The property and infrastructure sector is of vital importance to the Scottish economy, and the Awards celebrate this. They provide a great opportunity to recognise the ambition and vision of all finalists, and we are proud to help showcase their efforts. Being associated with an event so significant in the industry calendar allows us to demonstrate how seriously we take our commitment to the sector.”

Returning as sponsor of the Best Residential Sales Team of the Year are Rettie and Jonathan Riley, Managing Partner, says: “We have watched the event in grow in attendance and as one of the most progressive independent estate agents in Scotland, Rettie will be looking again for the best in field in what is a very demanding, competitive and customer focused business.”

Keith Benzie, Client Partner, Space and Time Media, who once again are sponsoring the Property Team of the Year category says: “The event is a great opportunity to celebrate the hard work, dedication and professionalism that is such an important part of the new build property sector in Scotland.”

Daw Signs too has had long involvement with the awards and Gary Daw Managing Director comments, “We are very proud to be associated as sponsor, once again, with this much anticipated and successful annual event and look forward to meeting many of the clients we work closely with throughout the year.”

Another returning sponsor is Lowther Homes part of Wheatley Group, this time in one of the two Best Family Homes categories, and Director, Gillian Lavety says: “At Lowther, we are building a range of homes for mid-market and full market rent. These are proving very popular with our customers. But we are always keen to learn from what has been successful in other developments. There is no better way to do that than through these awards which recognise and celebrate the most innovative work in the property sector in Scotland.”

Ross and Liddell, are supporting the awards for the eighth year in a row, this time sponsoring the Best Luxury Home category and Brian Fulton, director, will also be joining the judging panel. He says: “Early indications for 2016 shows promise of this being another excellent year for the industry.

New sponsors this year include Peace Recruitment, who is sponsoring the Best Family Home category for large-scale developers and Chris Peace, managing director, says: ‘We are delighted to be sponsoring The Herald Property Awards for the first time and further endorsing our support for the property and construction industry.”

Also joining the sponsors this year, this time in the Best Regeneration Project category, is Scotland’s Towns Partnerships, established by the Scottish Government as the national agency offering funding, support, advice, evidence and guidance for town centres

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of STP says: “The Herald Property Awards is one of our most prestigious awards ceremonies; it provides us with a national platform to showcase the best property and regeneration projects across Scotland, and to reward those whose efforts improve our towns and communities.”

Every year a team of leading property professionals, led by Andrew MacFarlane, chartered building surveyor and consultant with DM Hall, visits every single property entered into The Herald Property Awards for Scotland and, using their many decades of experience, makes a critical assessment of its strengths. It is this highly-involved judging process that distinguishes the awards and has made them recognised as the industry standard for excellence.

A win at the glittering awards ceremony, which every year takes place in a top Glasgow hotel, is not just gratifying recognition in front of an audience of property professionals, but also a marque of quality in design, construction and service that is now recognised by home buyers and tenants.

For most of the leading house builders and a substantial number of independent firms, to not enter would be unthinkable. This is a competition that they want keenly to win as it identifies their product and professionalism as the best in the business.