Civic Voice shortlists 12 schemes for new design awards

For immediate release July 8th 2015

Civic Voice shortlists 12 schemes for new design awards

Award winner to be announced by Griff Rhys Jones at London event

Civic Voice – the national charity for the civic movement – has today announced its national shortlist for the best designed new development nominated by communities in the country.
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. They 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. I look forward to meeting the award winners”

Schemes were shortlisted in 3 categories, as follows, with one overall winner.

New Buildings
- Arundel Museum: a new museum praised for its environmental sustainability and considered response to both community need and historic setting with a strong sense of pride of place within the town and community.
- Gloucester Services Northbound: the community pursued a vision of leading the design and development of a motorway services using the surrounding rural landscape and farming community to improve employment, training and skills for local deprived communities; an outstanding achievement.
- Holme Terrace Independent Residential Accommodation, Norwich: a considered and thoughtful independent living scheme for the elderly which provides excellent accommodation, of a high quality and contemporary design, yet sensitive to its historic context.
- North Hertfordshire College, Hitchin Campus: a remarkably successful re-use of an existing educational facility delivering a high quality landmark and inspirational building, which meets the needs of 21st century students.

Public Realm
- Cricket Green Local Landmarks, Mitcham: an imaginative community led scheme to restore historic local landmarks sited on Mitcham’s cricket green, helping preserve, celebrate and bring to life local heritage for local people.
- The Harbour Steps, Margate: an outstanding example of successful integration of civil engineering and place making, which has made a real difference to the regeneration of Margate and raised the standard of public realm within the town.
- Slowing the Flow in Pickering: a collaborative partnership between the community and academia hit on a winning solution to flood prevention in the North Yorkshire town of Pickering by working with nature to ‘Slow the Flow’, storing water upstream rather than flooding the town.
- Walpole Park, Ealing: a project to place a neglected London park back at the heart of the community, helping restore civic pride and respecting heritage whilst meeting contemporary needs.

- All Souls Church, Bolton: an impressive and brave refurbishment of a neglected, run-down Grade II* Listed church within inner city Bolton, restoring it into a well-used inter and non-faith community space.
- Portico – new works on Chester City Walls: an excellent example of how new elements can be successfully added to precious historic buildings without damaging them, enhancing their significance and showing that good design can lead to greater civic engagement.
- Orange Box, Halifax: an imaginative reworking of run down 19th century warehouses collaboratively planned into a vibrant youth space with world class facilities.
- Westgate Hall, Canterbury: a former drill hall facing demolition saved by a community driven campaign has seen an unremarkable building brought back to life and transformed into something quite special - a fantastic community amenity and art house cinema.

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 a total of 62 entries submitted by community groups which, in itself, is a remarkable indicator of the importance that communities attach to good design. We have shortlisted 12 schemes to be given National Civic Voice Design Awards. 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”.
The winning scheme awards will be announced and presented by Griff Rhys Jones, President of Civic Voice, at a ceremony on Friday 17th July at 2pm at Central Hall Westminster.

1. Press passes to attend the event are available on request.2. 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.

About Civic Voice
Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We lead and support civic societies as a national movement for quality of place, with people actively improving their towns, cities and villages, and 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 including how to join Civic Voice (£10 individuals) and contact details for local civic societies.


Ian Harvey, Civic Voice (m) 07877 096968 (t) 0151 707 4319 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)