Civic Voice Design Awards

Click here to see the winners in the Civic Voice Design Awards 2016 brochure.

Awards ceremony pictures

Winners and Highly Commended


The Civic Voice Design Awards are unique in England in that they are a national celebration of good design and restoration projects nominated by local community organisations. To be successful, projects have to make a significant contribution to the quality of life in our villages, towns and cities. Nominated and supported by local people they are awards from local communities across the country. They are not the usual industry awards where professional give awards to other professionals. Each year the Civic Voice Design Awards will recognise projects, from up and down the country, that have achieved a very high standard of design and have made a positive contribution to the quality of life in the local community.

Download the Design Awards 2016 flyer here

Speaking at an awards event in London, Griff Rhys Jones, Civic Voice President said:

“What I really like about the Civic Voice Design Awards is that they are national awards which have been nominated by local community organisations like civic societies, residents groups, town and parish councils and other community based voluntary organisations, rather than the industry professionals. I was delighted to meet the award winners and hear about these amazing stories. These awards show that people are willing to welcome the new developments we need when they have been properly consulted and involved and where the quality of design has been of the highest standard. Well done to all concerned.”

About the Civic Voice Design Awards

The Civic Voice Design Awards invite communities across England to celebrate examples of great design of buildings and spaces in their area. It is the people’s choice for architecture and the built environment, with schemes nominated by the people who live alongside, use and are affected by these schemes, and who have a real understanding of their impact on their local area.

What makes the Civic Voice Design Awards unique is that they are a national celebration of development and conservation projects which have been nominated by communities for both their design quality and positive impact on the local community.

Civic Voice Design Awards recognise places that are loved by local people and that make a positive contribution to their area. They must demonstrate a high standard of design and an inclusive and collaborative design process. Those nominating their local places will also be celebrated for their ambassadorial role, as will the relevant design and project teams.

In its first year, the 2015 Civic Voice Design Awards attracted over 60 applicants, with winners awarded and celebrated at a ceremony hosted by the Civic Voice president, Griff Rhys Jones.

Nominations for this year’s awards can be made by civic societies or other local community organisations for projects they consider make a significant contribution to the quality of their built environment, whether village, town or city.

Many civic societies already have their own award scheme and we hope that many of these will form the basis of nominations. We also hope that national recognition of local awards will inspire all civic societies to offer their own award.


Only buildings and projects in England are eligible for the awards.

For the 2016 award, any project completed in the two-year period after 1 January 2014 and before 31 December 2015 may be entered.

For the purposes of the competition the word ‘project’ includes any structure whether new, restored, rehabilitated, refurbished, converted or conserved; or any significant public realm project, such as streetscape works, new or restored parks, etc.

Nominations can be made by community groups and organisations including:

  • Civic societies
  • Residents’ associations
  • Building preservation trusts
  • Neighbourhood forums
  • Town and parish councils
  • Development trusts
  • Local history societies
  • Community arts groups
  • Friends of park groups
  • Other community based voluntary organisations.


Nominations for projects will be considered that are examples of:

  • New buildings
  • Historic buildings that have been reused, refurbished or restored
  • Public realm schemes such as street works, conservation area improvements, parks, improvements and enhancements of public space.

The judges will be looking for excellence in terms of:

  • High quality of design and construction
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Efficient use of resources
  • Preservation or enhancement of the local historic built environment.
  • Community participation and engagement
  • Promoting pride of place
  • Contribution to local life

In submitting an entry for consideration for the award it is assumed by Civic Voice that the nominating body will have secured the agreement of the building owner or operator prior to submitting the application and notified the architect or designer of their nomination.

This should include permission to submit all necessary information and publication of entry images on the award’s website (and the use of the same to promote the award). Information provided by nominees will only be used for the purposes of the award. Personal contact information will not be disclosed to other parties.

Judging panel

The judging panel will be appointed and managed by Civic Voice. Panel members will have a knowledge of, and interest in, building design and place-making. The judges’ decisions will be final. At the discretion of the judging panel there may also be a number of commended entries. In the event of the judges being unable todetermine a single award winner in any category, it will be left to their discretion to offer a joint award. The judges will publish their citations for the winner and commended entries online.

Please fill in the details below to access the Civic Voice Design Award 2016 brochure