Concrete has been the recipient of five awards, including Best Publication at this year’s Student Publication Association (SPA) awards ceremony, at the SPA national conference in Loughborough, on Saturday 9th of April.

The awards ceremony took place during the three day annual conference of the SPA, which featured talks by industry personnel from organisations such as ITV and the Press Association. The event was attended by delegates from student publications from newspapers, magazines and specialist publications based at universities all over the country. This year’s conference saw a record breaking 1,035 nominations from 21 different publications for 16 award categories, including Best Magazine Design, Best Photographer and Outstanding Commitment.

Dan Falvey and Peter Sheehan received Highly Commended in the Best News Story category article on Special Branch questioning a UEA student over their course reading. Jonn Ellege, editor of City Metric, who judged the award said that the article was of particular interest as “it was picked up by so many national publications. Has implications for both course teaching and national security policy (and how often can you say that about student journalism)”.

Concrete was also Highly Commended for Best Newspaper Design, Best Sports Coverage and a Special Mention for Venue’s art supplement, Frontier.

Jem Collins, outgoing chairperson of the SPA, said that “’This year has been our biggest awards yet – we’ve had more than 1,000 entries and the competition has been incredibly tough. Concrete have done an amazing job this year and should be extremely proud of themselves”.

Roberta Cohen, Lead Tutor in Postgraduate Diplomas in Multimedia Magazine Journalist at the Press Association, who judged the Best Publication category said that “In the end my decision came down to a mix of things. I selected this paper, as it offered a strong mix of content, design, strategy and passion for the project.

“An important story generated off the back of a Freedom of Information request seemed to galvanise the team who have been breaking exclusive stories all year. The Eastern Daily Press, Huffington Post, the Sun and the BBC all agree as they have run with stories that were originally broken by this paper. “Visually, both this paper and its culture supplement are consistently strong. This year they have been improved by including cartoons and illustrations produced by the university’s creative talent.”