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Which of Northern Ireland's stunning buildings will come out on top at Property Oscars?

By Margaret Canning

Properties across Northern Ireland, from the Sacred Heart Church in Omagh to Bishop's Gate Hotel in Londonderry, have been shortlisted for a major awards scheme.

A total of 32 buildings have been selected for the final of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards for Northern Ireland.

Judging panel chairman Michael Hannaway, said: "These awards showcase our region's top built environment projects, along with the talent and skills of the teams behind them.

"Every year I wonder how we're going to top last year's shortlist, but I'm never disappointed. Many of this year's nominees are truly unique and pioneering and have transformed local communities. It just goes to show our region is home to some of the most inspiring built environment projects."

As part of the next phase, judges will find out more about the positive impact shortlisted schemes have on their areas.

There are eight categories of award - building conservation, commercial property, community benefit, design through innovation, infrastructure, regeneration, residential and tourism and leisure.

Bishop's Gate Hotel and Girdwood Community Hub, in north Belfast, are both shortlisted in four categories, including regeneration.

The expanded Waterfront Hall in Belfast has been shortlisted in the commercial and tourism and leisure categories - and is joined in the same categories by the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

The refurbished Manor House on Rathlin Island is also shortlisted for two awards.

Cloud IT firm Novosco is nominated for a design through innovation award for its office fit-out at Catalyst Inc. in Belfast.

Queen's University is also nominated for its refurbishment of the Main Site Tower and Peter Froggatt Centre, which both date to the 1960s.

The Northern Ireland Hospice's new centre on Somerton Road in north Belfast is also shortlisted in the community benefit category.

And churches including Sacred Heart in Omagh and St Tida's in Bellaghy are also nominated.

Residential developments including Rathgill in Bangor and the Gallery on Dublin Road in Belfast are also among the finalists.

The awards ceremony will be held in La Mon Hotel & Spa on May 25 before a national final in November.

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