The Blackpool Civic Trust 40th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner was held on Friday 27th February 2015 at VIVA Blackpool. These awards are for excellence in building, design and work in the community during 2014.
A wonderful evening at Viva!
Joan Humble, Chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, said; "This year's awards presentation is even more special than usual because we are celebrating our 40th Anniversary. Blackpool Civic Trust was founded in February 1975. Two of those founder members are still involved with the Trust as our Vice-Presidents; Coun. David Owen and Mr Martin Gunson. I am very pleased that both could attend this 40th presentation of awards for excellence.
It is wonderful that one of our Patrons and local hero, Jimmy Armfield could give out the awards. We were also joined by Dr Freddie Gick, the Chair of Civic Voice, who spoke about the work of this national charity that supports civic trusts and societies throughout England. I hope to continue this 40th Anniversary year with more projects and events for our members to encourage civic pride in our community".
photo: Best New Build - Bickerstaffe House
Also attending the event were the Mayor of Blackpool Councillor Val Haynes and Her Consort Mr Alan Haynes, Blackpool's Members of Parliament Mr Gordon Marsden and Mr Paul Maynard. The Leader of Blackpool Council Mr Simon Blackburn, Blackpool Council Chief Executive Mr Neil Jack. The Chairman of Lytham St Annes Civic Society Mrs Marion Coupe, The Chairman of Fylde Decorative and Fine Arts Society Mrs Jo Darbyshire. Mr Andy Mitchell of Radio Wave was MC for the night and the presentations and citations were prepared by Mr Carl Carrington, Blackpool's Built Heritage Manager.
The Mayor of Blackpool Councillor Val Haynes and Mr Martin Gunson:
Mrs Elaine Smith, President of Blackpool Civic Trust welcomed the guests and introduced Mrs Joan Humble, Chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust who gave the opening address. Mr Jimmy Armfield presented the awards Mr Andy Mitchell made the citations for each award.
We thank those who again sponsored the evening.
Blackpool Borough Council
Eclipse Developments UK Ltd
The School Shield, Open Space and Community Awards were chosen by members of our Executive Committee, but the remaining awards were chosen by a panel of judges.
The judges: Alistair Bainesis a local architect and has been involved with the awards judging for some years now. Pippa Greenway is from Blackpool Council Planning office. Rhiannon Williamsis from Blackpool Sixth Form and Jordon Braithwaite is from Blackpool & the Fylde College. The buildings of today are the future heritage of our children & grandchildren and so we like to have young people on our panel. From the Blackpool Civic Trust committee, Canon Andrew Sage, the Civic Trust's Planning Officer on the panel of judges.
The 2014 Awards and Winners are; SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL SHIELD, Moor Park Primary School for rebuilding their vandalised garden, revitalising the pond, introducing new homes for wildlife and growing fruit and vegetables.
The pupils were devastated when their garden was heavily vandalised at the beginning of 2014, but undaunted, they worked hard to repair damage and improve the gardens throughout 2014.
With the help of the local community and funding from Rock FM's Cash For Kids, the children have revitalised the pond, introduced new homes for wildlife like bird boxes and even built a bug hotel! The Geo-dome, destroyed by vandals was replaced with a new one for growing tomatoes along with new raised vegetable beds and potato patch, all used to produce fruit and vegetables for sale at school fairs.
To top it all off, a new outdoor classroom was created so that children have the opportunity to learn outdoors in an environment they created themselves!
The pupils received the award.
BLACKPOOL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION TEAM (BEAT), award was given to Mr. Paul Boynton for works to the Fylde Coast Arboretum.
When Paul was living on the Fylde coast he volunteered to participate in a number of projects for BEAT including the incredible work he did in stripping and cleaning the railings and gates to the Jewish cemetery in Layton, prior to repainting.
But Paul really showed his worth when taking the lead role in works undertaken at the Fylde Coast Arboretum. Supported initially by a group of volunteers, he excavated a number of trenches prior to installing a land drainage system aimed at alleviating the flooding problem on site following heavy rain.
Paul then moved away to the North East but returned last year to finish what he started by laying a pathway of brick block paving over the pipework and along the length of the original temporary gravel based paths. His dedication, even from the other side of the country is astounding and he's played a key role in making the Arboretum a special place for those who use it to remember the casualties of conflict. The BEAT Board unanimously agreed that it would be fitting that Paul should receive this award for his past and ongoing dedication to Blackpool.
BLACKPOOL COUNCIL CONSERVATION AWARD, was given to Mr Aaron Whiteside for the glass and to Mr Rob Knighton of Eclipse for the joinery on the refurbishment of the front of Blackpool Tower.
This award recognises exceptional quality in craft skill or design and everyone will agree with our judges that the quality of this project has made a real difference to Blackpool Tower.
It was decided to reward both of the companies involved in the creation of the new doors because of the exceptional quality and the way in which close working has produced such an exceptional result.
Aaron was trained at Daedaelion Glass and served his apprenticeship working on incredible projects like restoration at Windsor Castle. Closer to home he worked on the restoration of the windows to the Town Hall's Committee Room A and created new glass within the Winter Gardens and for shop fronts in and around St John's Square.
Eclipse have developed a significant business in the restoration and re-creation of historic joinery. Responsible for many of the new shop fronts in St John's Square as well as large sections of the interior restoration of Blackpool Winter Gardens they have established themselves as one of the leading joinery firms in the region.
COMMUNITY AWARD, was presented to the Friends of Watson Road Park for the work they did in supporting the archaeological dig at the park.
Watson Road Park seems an unlikely location for archaeology, but lying underneath this peaceful haven in south shore is one of our most important pieces of World War One heritage. The Loos and Arras Trenches were created to train troops in the creation of fighting trenches and during 1915 and later, in true Blackpool fashion, turned into a visitor attraction. Filled in after the war, it remained a little known secret until the summer of 2014.
It can't be often that a community group gets an award for uncovering the past, but without them, this project would never have happened.They supported the funding bids to Ward Councillors, they worked with the local community to inform them of what was happening and they supported the community archaeologists is making it all happen. Hundreds of cups of tea, and hours of cleaning up and putting things right after the works were complete.
This is all the more remarkable because it created four huge holes in a park that this group works so hard to keep immaculate! Their dedication to the park and to its secret history is recognised by this award and we'd urge you to all go down and take a look at the exhibition in the pavilion and find out more about the history of Watson Road Park.
OPEN SPACES AWARD, went to the Friends of the Devonshire Road Rock Gardens for the work they had done in repairing and renovating the Vista building at the gardens.
This award recognises a small but dedicated Friends Group who have worked to restore one of the most romantic landscapes in Blackpool. Devonshire Road Rock Gardens was created in the 1930's to provide a public park for new housing in the area and to take advantage of rolling views across to the Trough of Bowland. The real gem in the park though is The Vista, a small Italian style rustic pavilion with a terrace overlloking the hills to the east, below which pools and waterfalls follow the fall of the hill. This was used for thousands of wedding pictures from the 1930's until the 1980's.
The Vista had been subjected to vandalism for many years and had become a roofless ruin, partly overgrown until the Friends started to raise funds to restore it in 2012. By 2013 enough had been raised through events, generous contributions from Ward Funding and other sources, for work to begin.
A year later and the roofs are back on, vandal proof doors and windows have been installed, the terrace repaired and the friends now have a place out of the rain for storage and brewing up whilst looking at the incredible view! BEST NIGHT TIME ECONOMY, was given to the Beach House for the rebuilding, repair and renovation of the building after serious storm damage, to produce a new cocktail bar and stylish venue.
In an extreme case of your best asset ending up being your biggest nightmare, the Beach House Restaurant and Bar was severely affected by the storms that caused widespread damage and flooding at the beginning of 2014 . The windows and furniture were smashed and the years of hard work by the owners Hagup and Cheryl and their team were wiped away almost overnight.
Did they give up? No! The Beach House re-opened in a temporary restaurant, kindly provided by Blackpool Football Club, and started work clearing out and repairing the structure before getting to work creating a new interior
They used local contractors from the Fylde and focused on bringing an even more contemporary look to the restaurant complete with a feature light fitting in Ditchfield glass . The result has been striking, a slick new cocktail bar, new (and improved) menu and one of the mist stylish places to eat and drink on the Fylde Coast.To receive the best night time economy award, Hagop and Cheryl Tchobanian!
BEST REFURBISHMENT, went to Trinity Hospice for the high quality of its refurbishment in planning spaces and decoration, privacy, dignity and patient choice.
Trinity Hospice is no stranger to these awards, which says a lot about how we, as a community feel about how important their work is. Like everything the Hospice does, this refurbishment is of the highest quality. In planning spaces and decoration, privacy, dignity and patient choice were at the centre of decision making.
The range of calm interiors, vibrant interiors, private spaces, single or twin occupancy rooms and facilities for families staying over were all things that our judges thought outstanding. The Brian House Children's Hospice has become a magical place with themed decor, pirates and sea life murals decorate the rooms along with a beautifully designed new kitchen, with play kitchen alongside.
This range of child and dementia friendly spaces, stimulating environments and calm rooms, some opening onto the award winning gardens will provide a step change in the quality of end of life and dementia care for our community and this award is well deserved!
To collect this award Simon Hellewell, Julie Huttley and Linzi Young
BEST NEW BUILD, was Bickerstaffe House for replacing derelict buildings with a well designed new structure and bringing together Council staff from a variety of scattered offices.
The new offices of Blackpool Council have been awarded best new build for a number of reasons. Firstly, they sit at the heart of Talbot Gateway which truly has changed the feel of the arrival into Blackpool by train. Gone are the semi derelict buildings surrounding Blackpool North to be replaced by a series of light, bright contemporary buildings to welcome people to Blackpool.
Secondly, it's design, intended on the north and west side to resemble pier like structures, breaks up the sleeker, smoother facades of the buildings either side and forms part of the new Bickerstaffe Square with attractive seating and lighting.
Thirdly is the way in which this building has brought together people working at a number of sites across the borough into one place, reducing the Council's carbon footprint, and establishing new ways of flexible working to help save money and jobs. The building is a welcome addition to the creation of a new contemporary offer in Blackpool and we hope to see more of it with Phase II of this excellent development! Councillor Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council and Mr. Andy Barton of Muse Developments collected the prize.
TRANSFORMING BLACKPOOL, went to Phase One of the Talbot Gateway for creating a new group of high quality buildings including Bickerstaffe House, the Sainsbury Super Store and the refurbished art deco Talbot Road Car Park.
We've already seen Bickerstaffe House pick up an award this evening so it seems only fair that the rest of this excellent development should be recognised. Phase One of the Talbot Gateway development was made up of the creation of the fantastic new Sainsbury super store, the new Blackpool Council headquarters at Bickerstaffe House and the remarkable refurbishment of the Art Deco Talbot Road Car Park.
In many ways it's hard to imagine that the old car park is somewhere under the illuminated glass cladding but somehow it is! The designers managed to preserve the important layout of what is believed to be the first public multi storey car park in Britain and gave it a bright and contemporary feel.
Sainsbury's is another landmark building with it ship like curving prow and Blackpool feature art inside. In addition, it brings much needed parking and shopping facilities to the Town Centre and plays a huge part in making arrival into Blackpool by rail a much more attractive option. Phase two is in the pipeline so watch this space!
Cllr. Mr. Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council, Mr. Andy Barton of Muse Developments and the Super Staff of Blackpool's new Sainsbury Superstore collected the prize.
SPECIAL AWARD, was given to F Parkinson for restoring the lost terracotta on the front of the Tower and installing seven sets of beautiful hard wood doors.
We've already seen the skill of those involved in the detail of the work at Blackpool Tower and now it's time to recognise the vision and organisation behind those works. Since purchasing Blackpool Tower and Blackpool Winter Gardens in 2010, Blackpool Council has demonstrated its commitment to the future of these buildings time and time again, through high quality, sensitive changes that create new visitor offers whilst preserving the historic significance of the buildings.
As many of you will know, in the 1970's a new canopy was added to the front of the Tower but in order to fit it better, much of the decorative terracotta casting was hacked off the face of the building. This project has not only restored that lost terracotta but has re-created the sense of arrival with the installation of seven sets of beautiful hardwood doors with all of the original stained glass restored or re-created. The choice of F Parkinson Ltd to plan and execute the works is a testament to how important they've become to projects like this in Blackpool. A local firm with a local work force and an excellent track record of heritage projects including extensive work at the Winter Gardens, they really have excelled themselves on this project.
Mr Ray Eyre of F Parkinson Ltd and Cllr. Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council!
BEST NEW QUALITY VISITOR ATTRACTION, this new award was given to Illuminasia for its incredible light show.
Illuminasia's transformation of the Olympia Exhibition Hall has been spectacular. One of Blackpool Council's ambitions on buying the Winter Gardens in 2010 was to introduce a year round family attraction. It took a while, but in April 2014, just in time for the Easter season, Illuminasia opened its doors!
An incredible light show based on the ancient Chinese art of lantern making, the light steel frames are them covered in silk to add colour and form to the installations.
There are a range of zones based on different themes and many of the installations are of exceptional size and quality, having your photo taken between the teeth of a shark has to be one of the highlights. This award recognises both the local dimension of Illuminasia and the way in which it's re-connected Blackpool to the international leisure market.
To receive this award, Mr. Gary Fjelstad of International Special Attractions.
Two former Mayors of Blackpool:
Members of Blackpool Civic Trust:
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