England’s best new community nominated schemes announced

12 schemes recognised for contribution to improving quality of built environment.

Civic Voice – the national charity for the civic movement – is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Civic Voice National Design Awards.

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.”

The expert panel of five judges was chaired by Max Farrell, project leader for the Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment, published in 2014.

Farrell said:

“In this first year there were 62 entries in three categories submitted by community groups which, in itself, is a remarkable indicator of the importance that communities attach to good design. These schemes, ranging from major Heritage Lottery Funded projects to smaller community initiatives, show that communities are keen to celebrate high quality design when they see it. The shortlisted entries clearly demonstrate communities’ desire to say ‘yes’ to development, when they have had a chance to participate in a meaningful way. Due to the high quality of entrants, we decided to award a winner and give three highly commended schemes in each category".

The winners in each category were

New Buildings Category and Overall Award Winner
Gloucester Services Northbound: nominated by Matson and Robinswood Residents Group and Stroud Civic Society

Highly Commended
• Arundel Museum: nominated by the Arundel Museum Trust
• Holme Terrace Independent Residential Accommodation: nominated by the Norwich Society
• North Hertfordshire College Hitchin Campus: nominated by the Hitchin Society

Public Realm Category
Winner The Harbour Steps Margate: nominated by the Margate Civic Society

Highly Commended
• Cricket Green Local Landmarks: nominated by Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage
• Slowing the Flow in Pickering: nominated by Pickering and District Civic Society – Judges’ Special Prize
• Walpole Park: nominated by Walpole Friends

Restoration Category Winner:
All Souls Bolton: nominated by the Churches Conservation Trust

Highly Commended
• Orangebox: nominated by Halifax Civic Trust
• Portico, Chester: nominated by Chester Civic Trust
• Westgate Hall: nominated by the Canterbury Society

Farrell finished the event by saying “We are delighted to announce that the Gloucester Service Station has been awarded the first ever overall Civic Voice National Design Award. The judges were unanimous and praised the scheme for being a ‘game changer’ in the design of future motorway service stations. The project was community led and is an outstanding achievement, using the surrounding rural landscape and farming community to improve employment, training and skills in neighbouring deprived communities".

The Civic Voice Design Awards brochure is available to download here.

1. The expert panel of five judges was chaired by Max Farrell, project leader for the highly regarded Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment published in 2014. This review highlighted examples of what can be achieved when national and local government engage effectively with the professions and the communities they serve and shows that the UK can lead the way by learning from these success stories.
2. Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We work to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and to promote civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We believe everyone should live somewhere they can be proud of and we know how people feel about places because we feel the same way. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010 Civic Voice has been joined by over 290 civic societies with 75,000 members. Further information is available at http://www.civicvoice.org.uk including how to join Civic Voice (£10 individuals) and contact details for local civic societies.
Contact details
Ian Harvey, Executive Director, Civic Voice, 0151 707 4319 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)