2017 Awards

At an event in The Leadenhall Building, London attended by community groups from across England and industry professionals, Civic Voice – the national charity for the civic movement - handed out 11 awards to a variety of schemes and projects across England.

Download the Civic Voice Design Award 2017 Brochure  

The Civic Voice Design Awards give communities the opportunity to nominate and recognise new buildings, restoration and public realm projects in their local area. They were introduced in 2014 following a vote by Civic Voice members to demonstrate that civic societies and other community groups will accept new development when it responds positively to the local area.

From this year's winners and learning from previous years, there are some key themes that are starting to emerge from the awards. Although not exhaustive, these include:-

  • Historic Environment is not a barrier to growth - From the winning schemes, we have ten schemes in a Conservation Area and one in a World Heritage Site, showing that the historic environment is an asset not a barrier to growth and high quality new development can be successfully integrated within historic settings.
  • Partnership working between the public, private and voluntary sectors is key - It is clear from many past winners and this year's shortlist that working in partnership across sectors, can have a positive impact on the quality of the built environment in our towns, villages and cities.
  • Early collaborative engagement – Real positive examples of community groups being involved at an early stage in the process and influencing the final scheme are starting to emerge but we want see more and for this to become the Civic Voice standard across the country! Read Civic Voice guidance on collaborative planning here
  • Leadership and mindset - Individuals in the public, private and voluntary sectors have been at the forefront of schemes, driving forward new ideas by asking, "How can we do this better?" or "What can we do as a community to tackle this problem?"
  • Paying for an architect, pays results - The judges felt that it was clear when an architect had been commissioned on housing developments and they were encouraged to see Crest Nicholson using Alison Brooks Architects to design a housing scheme in Bath, but questioned, why is this the exception and not the norm?
  • Finally, we are still not seeing large scale housing developments coming forward that communities are proud of and want to support. The judges wondered whether we ever will?