The floodlighting of Coventry Cathedral has been judged the best of its kind in the world.

The council- sponsored scheme beat off competition from Trafalgar Square in London and projects in Los Angeles and New York to win the Best Public Space category in the FX International Interior Design Awards.

Coventry was also a winner in the Lighting Design Awards 2005, where the cathedral and the city centre Phoenix Initiative took the top prize in the heritage category, beating St Mary's Church in London.

Coun Dave Arrowsmith, cabinet member for urban regeneration and regional planning, said: "Our city centre is transformed at night by the perfect mix of stunning and sensitive lighting. And it's great to see all of our hard work recognized by not one, but two, expert sets of judges.

"I'm especially proud that the lighting of the cathedral picked up the awards because we are rightly proud of what the two cathedrals stand for and it was just as important that we illuminated and revealed the texture of the facade while we showed off the building's character and beautiful architecture.

"Both competitions were very hard fought and we have succeeded in beating world landmarks like Trafalgar Square which is true credit to the city and no mean feat."

The Dean of Coventry, The Very Rev John Irvine, said the lighting makes the cathedral "look as striking at night as in the day". The awards are recognition of a four-year city council plan to transform the city by night.

British company Spiers and Major Associates were the council's lighting consultants and as well as the cathedral lighting they also worked on the lighting of the Council House, Holy Trinity Church, the weather towers and the lighting in Medieval Spon Street.

The FX Award judges said: "The lighting of the old and new cathedrals is part of the city's on-going urban renaissance giving each building a distinctive character while maintaining the unity of Sir Basil Spence's 1960 plan."