Blackpool Civic Trust

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Blackpool Civic Trust Awards for 2009

Held on Thursday 21st January 2010

The annual awards ceremony was held at the attractive St John's Conference Centre in Blackpool.

It was attended by Blackpool VIP's including The Worshipful the Mayor of Blackpool; Norman Hardy, our Patron: Jimmy Armfield CBE and Joan Humble MP, Gordon Marsden MP. Plus the heads of Blackpool organisations involved in town development and the architects, designers and developers and the award judges. With members of the Blackpool Civic Trust around 150 people.

Including the President of Blackpool Civic Trust - local historian Mr Barry Shaw.

Both of our Vice-Presidents - Cllr David Owen and Mr Martin Gunson. Two of our founder members 35 years ago next month who have remained loyal ever since.

This Annual Ceremony gives out a variety of prestigious and much sought after awards.

Mrs Elaine Smith MBE, Chairman, introduced the event and award winners were announced by Andy Mitchell of Radio Wave.

Photo: Elaine with the Mayor of Blackpool.

Andy Mitchell

Andy Mitchell

St John's Conference Centre Main Room.

St John's Conference Centre Blackpool

Blackpool Civic Trust is one of 750 local civic trusts and part of the national civic trust organisation currently called the Civic Society Initiative. We are also part of the Lancashire Federation.

The Lancashire Federation is in turn part of the North West Association of Civic Trusts and Societies - NWacts for short.

NWacts is one of the nine regional societies throughout the country and the Chairman of this, Mr Peter Colley, is with us this evening.

The Shields given to schools for their work in the Environment were this year won by:

Junior Environmental Shield

Moor Park Primary School, award presented by Councillor Don Clapham.

Moor Park School

The Junior Environmental Shield goes to Moor Park School for an exceptional year of activity in enhancing the school grounds and the surrounding area. In 2008, with a grant from the local Ward Councillors, the pupils created a natural garden on a previously unused area in the school grounds.

Moor Park School

In addition, in early 2009 the school helped plant hundreds of trees on land next to the school, supported by Veterans and Blackpool Council's Parks Department and was given a discretionary award at the North West Region in Bloom.

Senior Environmental Shield

Blackpool 6th Form College, award presented by Councillor Don Clapham.

Blackpool Sixth Form College receive the shield this year for the activities of the student run Eco Council. Formed in September 2007 as a student-run group to promote environmental action and responsibility at The Blackpool Sixth Form College, the group have worked in partnership with other schools both in Blackpool and overseas to promote energy saving and environmental agendas.

In addition Christopher Hodson, photographed with the shield above, won the BCT Award for Environmentalism.

Blackpool Senior Environmental Shield

Blackpool Environmental Action Team

BEAT

Julie Moore for Bethesda Square Childrens Playground, award presented by Mr David Rothwell.

Julie Moore first approached BEAT at a Reassurance public meeting three years ago, and just didn't go away. After three years of hard work campaigning and fundraising her idea for a pocket park on Bethesda Rd finally came to fruition and in September 2009 the park was completed and opened.

Julie will also soon be taking the chair of the newly formed Friends of Bethesda Park, which will among other things be looking at funding to further improve the facilities at the site. Not content with this, Julie is also a leading figure in the Kent Road residents group,

Community Award

The Boathouse Project, Lytham Road, Blackpool.

Presented by: Mr Jimmy Armfield CBE

The Boathouse Project opened its workshop and fundraising shop in the spring of 2009. Activities include 'Join up for Joinery' 6-week courses for 16-19 year olds on the NEET register referred by Connections. The Boathouse project also undertakes individual projects for young people referred by Community Police and many other community groups. Teaching in the workshop is undertaken by retired carpenters largely drawn from a local wood carving club.

In addition, the Futures programme, designed to help teenage mums with practical life skills and mutual support networks has been very successful in its first few months of operation.

The enormous range of partner organisations working with the Boathouse is a testament to the need for this kind of service and its importance was recognised by the fact that the centre was formally opened by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the 6th November 2009.


Sponsors

We are grateful to three of our previous award winners who agreed to sponsor the evening.

Judges

The following award winners were selected by a judging panel.

Malcolm Hankey - MD Civic Trust Awards

Pippa Greenway - BC Planning Officer

Emma Law - College Student

Robert Taziker - BCT Planning Officer

Alison Grant - Places Matter!

For the past 50 years the Civic Trust held a prestigious Award Ceremony. Following administration this side of the Civic Trust and its 50 years of archives was bought out by the person who was at that time running it, Mr Malcolm Hankey. Malcolm agreed to be one of our judges.

Pippa Greenway from the Blackpool Council Planning Office. We are 'friendly adversaries' of the council with the accent mainly on the 'friendly' and we try very hard to work together as Pippa has kindly proved.

Because the buildings of today are the future heritage for our children and grandchildren we always have a junior judge on our panel and this year is a student from the Blackpool Sixth Form College, Miss Emma Law. Emma is hoping to study architecture.

From our own committee, Bob Taziker, the Blackpool Civic Trust Planning officer. Bob had no knowledge of the names of the builders, designers, etc as they were just judging the buildings on their own merit.

Alison Grant, architect and the Business Development Manager for Places Matter!

Best Night Time Economy Award

Che Bar

Gary Hunt - Brook Leisure

Ian Sanderson - Sanderson Contracts Ltd

Graham Taylor - Easy Design Solutions

Presented by: Mr Barry Shaw

Che Bar Award Winners

This award goes to Che bar, for its conversion of the ground floor of the Grade II Clifton Hotel to a highly successful bar and nightclub complex.

The award recognises the retention of a number of key features of the historic building, particularly the ceilings of the early twentieth century extension onto Talbot Square and the plasterwork of the original dining room.

The award also recognises the thematic nature of the venue which is centred on an old Havana/Cuban feel and the use of different styles and music/entertainment offers throughout the complex, a departure from standard bar and club design in the town.

The award also recognises the commitment of the owners to addressing the whole building rather than just the key bar areas, and their investment in the town at a difficult time has provided not only an addition to the vibrant and quirky bar scene, but a quality hotel offer, fitted out to a high standard, in a key landmark building in the town centre.

Their replacing of poor quality plastic windows with working timber sash windows and the external lighting of the building with the assistance of a grant from the Blackpool Townscape Heritage Initiative has made an enormous difference to the appearance of the building and enhanced the overall appearance of Talbot Square.

Best Shop Front Award

Joint Winners: Lounge and Jagar Jewellers

Jim Connaught - Jagar Jewellers

Dimi Akram - Lounge Cafe / Restaurant

Carl Carrington - Designer

Rob Knighton - Eclipse Developments - Contractor

Presented by: Mrs Joan Humble MP

Shop Front Winners

The Lounge Cafe and Jagar Jewellers were the first of a number of Townscape Heritage Initiative shopfronts to open on the newly re-designed Cedar Square earlier this year.

The renewal of shopfronts on Cedar Square posed problems for the Council as until the 1960's the bulk of the properties on the street retained a residential character similar to those adjoining on Edward Street. This meant that it was difficult to restore original shop frontages as there hadn't actually been any. This resulted in a decision to create a group of shopfronts, each following a set format in overall frame but with individual features such as window forms, fascias, colours and detailing.

Both of these shops combine traditional craftsmanship with bold practical designs based around the needs of the client business. The shopfronts are of quality hardwoods with solid brass and steel fittings and feature traditional canvas awnings.

The windows on the upper floors have been restored as working timber sash windows and the render to the frontages renewed with lime rich white coloured renders to underline the seaside feel of the row.

Plans are already going ahead for the creation of another five such shopfronts, a development which will transform Cedar Square in a primary area for eating/drinking and independent retail.

Best Refurbishment Award

Langtry's

King Edward Avenue

David Webb and Julie Sayers - Langtry-s

Kevin Lavin and Paul Taylor - Unique Constuction

Presented by: Mrs Helen Mansell

Refurbishment Winners

Langtry's Hotel represents what can be achieved with an eye for quality and the will to deliver a boutique offer in the UK's capital of Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

With beautifully redecorated interiors featuring the best in bathroom design, light, spacious rooms with luxury touches, Langtry's continues the re-definition of the Bed and Breakfast offer in the Town. Featured last year on the Hotel Inspector, the business has gone from strength to strength and has been important in proving that the investment in creating a boutique B&B offer can be highly successful even in the current economic climate.

The judges were impressed with the simplicity and quality of the fittings but the simple luxury touches like lambs wool throws and luxury cotton bedding along with the superb bathrooms were key points of note for everyone.

Reviews of the hotel always feature the welcome and friendliness of the staff and it is this in conjunction with the luxury feel of the public and private rooms that will make people return time after time.

Best Public Realm Award

St John's / Cedar Square

Carl Carrington - Blackpool THI Board

Derek Greaves - Project Manager

Lindsay Humblet - The Planit Group

Tom Elliot - on behalf of Lucy Glendinning - Artist

Graham Laing & Andy Mounsey - P Casey & Co Ltd

Presented by: Councillor Maxine Callow

Public Realm Award

The St Johns and Cedar Square project was commissioned in 2008 by Blackpool Council, who recognised that the town lacked a public space for events, markets and festivities.

The Council went to great lengths with public consultation to assess what local residents and stakeholders wanted to see in the space and in the end were happily able to deliver all of the key requirements with fountains, trees and floral planting, improved seating, lighting and paving forming the key features surrounding this multi purpose events space.

The most exciting new feature in the space is the Wave sculpture designed by Lucy Glendinning, surrounded by clear resin boulders, the whole eleven metre undulating wave of high grade duplex steel is internally lit with colour change LED lights. The sculpture uses shapes and patterns from the stained glass in St John's Church, now also lit internally and externally to great effect.

The delivery of the final design took just seven months and the support of the local businesses was a huge help in the process. Since the formal opening by Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen in the presence of the Worshipful Mayor Blackpool on September 5th last year, the site has hosted a concert and a Christmas Ice rink.

The coming highlight for the square will be the Showzam! festival coming up in the February half term. The quality of the materials and design and the flexibility for the space to be used for all kinds of events

Best New Build Award

Nominations

PCT Health Centre, Whitegate Drive
A striking new development on Whitegate drive by the local primary care trust, the centre uses a mix of high quality materials and the striking approach combined with the original Victorian gateposts and boundary walls add an interesting feature. The centrepiece of the spacious and light foyer is an enormous multi coloured Ditchfield Glass chandelier

Whitegate Health Centre

Community Centre, Lee Road
Designed by Matt Hill of Blackpool Council's Capital Projects Department, the design reflects a tented form with a central lantern. The space inside includes an attractive circular meeting space for the community with education, meeting and kitchen spaces accessed from this central space. The community worked closely with Matt in designing the building and specifying what facilities they needed.

Lee Road Community Centre

St John's Primary School, Church St
A simple but elegant modernist style design for the new home of Blackpool's oldest free school. Located in the town centre on Church Street, the school utilises classic materials in an a smart, slightly retro frontage. The school itself has an unconventionally ingenious layout, providing open air play spaces on a number of levels along with bright new classrooms and facilities.

St Johns Primary School

Blackpool Sixth Form College
Another striking new building featuring a very modern frontage with strong vertical emphasis. The building responds well to its site with the south facing front featuring fixed permanent window shades as an architectural feature and beautifully light art studios on the ground floor. Other areas of the college have been transformed including the spacious and attractively arrange atrium style lounge opening onto the internal courtyard.

Blackpool 6th Form College

Blackpool & Fylde College
The materials of the third of our modern educational buildings nominated picks up the colour of the Victorian red-brick buildings to which it stands adjacent with simple red terracotta tiling to the bulk of the facade. Another very striking modern design, this time with a slightly more horizontal emphasis, the buildings chief feature is a floor to ceiling central atrium with attractive cafe, library and reception facilities on the ground floor.

Blackpool & Fylde College

The Winner: St John's Church of England Primary School

Mrs J.Snape and Mrs G.Ward

Corin Yarrow - Aedas Architects Ltd

Peter Glenn & Ray Eyre - Parkinson's Building Contracators

Presented by: Mr Doug Garrett

Best Building

St John's Primary School
The newly opened St John's school is the latest in a series of ambitious designs for twenty first century schools in Blackpool. The first of these at Devonshire Road was a previous winner of a Blackpool Civic Trust Award and this, the latest is another superb example of modern school building.

The former St John's School was unable to provide properly for the growing needs of the school, unsurprising as it was formed of a number of elements dating from the 1810's to the 1930's.

This development had happened ad-hoc and the lack of play and classroom space forced the governors to seek a new site for the school. After some time it became obvious that a new site could not be afforded with the limited resources available and it was decided with some sadness to re-build on the schools original site.

The designs by Aedas incorporated open air play space on three different levels with well lit class and internal activity space. The exterior is of textured brick and ceramic tile reflecting the art deco Stanley Buildings immediately opposite across Church Street.

The judges were impressed with the quality of construction executed by Parkinson's as well as the way in which the building's size and arrangement respected the proportions of the local streetscape whilst providing space in ingenious ways.

The overall look and feel of the building was felt to be positive and the appearance of the building at night made all the more striking by the huge vertical stained glass window to the eastern half of the elevation.

St Johns Primary School

St Johns Primary School

Transforming Blackpool Award

Salisbury Woodland

Lisa Kersey - Parks' Development Manager

Justine Hall - Ranger Service Officer

Rangers: Martyn Day, Larry Ryan, Jenna Trewarth

Presented by:

The Mayor of Blackpool, Councillor Norman E Hardy

Transforming Blackpool Award

The award goes to the Park Rangers for the Salisbury Woodland
Salisbury Woodland is Blackpool's only amenity woodland site.It was originally planted in the 1930's to act as a shelterbelt for StanleyPark Golf Course and wasdeveloped into a public open space during the 1950's.

The site supported a very formal and exotic planting structure from the 1950's through to the1970's and was a popular beauty spot for wedding photographs. However, as the woodland habitat matured and more native trees and shrubs established, the woodland became less formal and more naturalised.

Its ecological value increased over time and as a result the woodland was designated a CountyBiological Heritage Site in 1993 for its moss, fungi, liverwort and lichen populations.

Sadly, the woodland became underused and neglected from the mid 1990's to 2005. This resulted in the woodland habitat becoming compromised and very overgrown. The infrastructure, including paths and furniture, became hazardous and unattractive, which prevented visitors from safely accessing the site. Public perception of the site was at an all time low and the site lost its physical identity.

In 2005, the Council's Parks and Green Environment Department established a Park Ranger Service to manage, protect and promote the town's ecological sites. The service took over the responsibility of Salisbury Woodland and were tasked to implement sensitive restoration through an active management regime.

The site has been slowly renovated through a partnership approach led by the Rangers, Volunteer Rangers, Community Volunteers and Friends Group - setting a fine example of community involvement.

Salisbury Woodland Entrance

Closing Statement

Mr Gordon Marsden MP

Gordon Marsden MP

Powerpoint presentation on the evening by Carl Carrington.

Photographs by Sophie Heywood of Blackpool 6th Form College.

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