A team leader from Bradford Council’s Landscape, Design and Conservation Team has achieved a prestigious accolade at the inaugural British Asian Professional Awards.

Saira Ali, a landscape architect and team leader within Bradford Council’s Landscape, Design and Conservation Team, has been bestowed with the title of British Professional Architect of the Year.

Saira boasts over two decades of expertise in landscape and urban design, place-making, and regeneration. The majority of her career has been dedicated to the public sector at Bradford Council.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We are delighted that Saira has been awarded such an important professional accolade. It is testament to her skill, experience, and professionalism. She is a committed and talented team leader and the Bradford district benefits widely from her expertise.”

Saira said: “I strive to create healthy green space in some of the most challenging places and to engage and empower the community in working alongside me, by embracing co-design principles.

“I am socially committed and seek to improve people’s quality of life. I have been published in research studies on the greater benefits of ‘blue green infrastructure’ – using water and vegetation – for public health and well-being, and community engagement.”

The British Asian Professional Awards was established to recognise and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of people who have made a significant impact in their respective fields while fostering diversity and inclusion in the British professional landscape.

Saira added: “It is wonderful to be honoured as their Architect of the Year. It’s a category that represented an incredible group of nominees at the highest levels of professional construction working in Britain today.”

Richard Hollinson, Bradford Council’s Assistant Director for Planning, Transportation and Highways, said: “The whole service is rightly proud of Saira’s achievement. Saira is a highly valued member of our team and it’s fantastic to see her dedication, professionalism and skill being rewarded in this way. Saira really leads from the front and her approach embraces every aspect of place-making, with positive outcomes for the Bradford district at the heart of all she does.”

Jane Findlay FLI PPL, Past President of the Landscape Institute, added: “What a fantastic achievement, I’m delighted that Saira has been recognised for her leadership and the transformational work that she and her team have delivered. It’s a special honour at a time when the landscape sector needs role models. With leaders like Saira, we can create and greatly improve the environment and places that allow everyone to thrive.”