Friday 28th April 2017
On Friday 28th April 2017, Blackpool Civic Trust held its Annual Awards and Dinner in the Washington Suite of the Imperial Hotel. In front of over 160 guests, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool, Blackpool Civic Trust gave out awards to schools, community groups and local businesses who had contributed to supporting Blackpool in 2016.
Chair of Blackpool Civic Trust, Joan Humble, commented:“The evening was a very enjoyable way to celebrate individual and group achievement in Blackpool. I am pleased that the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Kath Rowson and Ms Joan Goldin could join us, together with both Blackpool MPs, Gordon Marsden and Paul Maynard. The 2016 Awards especially highlight the good work of community groups and also businesses in Blackpool which are supporting our local economy. I am pleased that this year’s ceremony took place at the Imperial Hotel which is itself celebrating its 150th anniversary. We all enjoyed a very successful event.”
The winners in each category are:-
Junior School Environmental Shield: Hawes Side Academy
Senior School Environmental Shield: Highfurlong School
Blackpool Council Conservation Award: Jubb and Jubb Ltd for their detailed survey work on the Winter Gardens.
Community Award: The Friends of the Illuminations
Best Open Spaces: 1 Jubilee Gardens (Gynn)
Best Open Spaces: 2 Aspire Academy, Memorial Garden
Best Refurbishment: The Grand Theatre
Transforming Blackpool: Harry Ramsden at Blackpool Tower
Special Award: 1 Glasdon’s Works Canteen
Special Award: 2 Carers Centre
Sponsors for the event:
Cassidy & Ashton Architects of Preston & Chester
The Imperial Hotel
Burbage Holiday Group
Hosts for the evening: Andy Mitchell of Radio Wave, The Mayor of Blackpool, Kath Rowson and the Chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, Joan Humble.
Joan presents Andy with flowers
Apologies were received from our Patrons Jimmy Armfield and Amanda Thompson, and President, Elaine Smith and Vice President Martin Gunson.
Thanks were give to Carl Carrington, Blackpool’s Built Heritage Manager, and his colleague, Jan Cresswell for the support they have given throughout the year.
Our very good friend and member of the Trust, the News Editor at Radio Wave, Mr Andy Mitchell once again agreed to be MC for the evening.
Amanda Thompson was represented by the Pleasure Beach Director of Finance Mr Nigel Kilgallon.
The Mayor of Blackpool, Kath Rowson, presented the awards.
The Awards were announced by Andy Mitchell and presented by the Mayor, Kath Rowson to:
Andy Mitchell described their achievement. It’s been a busy year for Hawes Side Academy which has now moved into new premises. In January 2016 Hawes Side Academy became an expert centre for the Global Learning Programme and created a network of 23 local schools, working on issues of global concern, including sustainability.
The school is also involved in the Local Wildlife Trust and in June 2016, 20 children from Year 6 undertook a 3 day residential course at Castle Head Field Study Centre in Cumbria.These children explored and discovered the contrasting environments within Castlefield, learning how to work as a team on specific project activities. They then worked with the Wildlife Trust on the dunes in St Annes to dig out a sand slack, creating new habitats for other species and helping to conserve the environment.
The final part of this project was to share their knowledge. They presented their work in front of an audience of 180 children and they were nationally recognised with the presentation of the John Muir Award. All children in years 3-5 are now involved in this project; a total of 270.
The school’s Green Council also leads on other initiatives such as Switch Off Fortnight where children undertook an audit of energy use across the school, and their work will continue into 2017 with a new project funded by Urban Organic Community Gardens to transform the school grounds.
Andy Mitchell described their achievement. Many of the pupils at Highfurlong School spend a great deal of time indoors due to the challenges they face with their health and physical disabilities and when Highfurlong School moved into their new buildings in 2015, the outside area was completely empty.
There was nowhere for children and young people to play, or take part in outdoor learning. The school was determined to change this and began to raise funds to develop the outside area.The Big Lottery funded a giant poly tunnel which will be used to develop the schools Enterprise Projects. The pupils will grow plants in planters, tubs and hanging baskets and then sell them as part of the Potty Pots Enterprise Business. The children will also grow salad in the Poly tunnel to be used in their food technology lessons. Another project popular with the pupils is the Bug Hotel. Watching the creepy crawlies helps students investigate nature and wildlife and watch and learn about the life cycles of insects and the role they play in looking after the environment.
The last part of the school’s environmental work involves the outdoor area. Funding for this development was provided by the Vera Wolstencroft Charity and the Wooden Spoon.
This marvelous addition includes a wheelchair roundabout, wheelchair swing, wheelchair activity trail and other attractions for a range of physical abilities. The ground has been covered in soft play turf and means that all children are able to come out of their chairs. It is brightly coloured and loads of fun and the children, understandably all love it!
Survey work isn’t exactly the most glamorous side of Conservation, but it is a vital part of understanding and caring for historic buildings.
The archive of the Tower Company, held in Empress Buildings, is huge repository of information; programmes objects, business records, advertising and architectural drawings. What the Council didn’t have however was an accurate set of drawings of the entire complex.If there was a dark hole full of spiders – or worse – they spent time in it over the year working to meticulously record and assess the condition of the building. But they didn’t do it alone. Working their magic with state of the art digital survey equipment were Bury Associates and assisting with the arcane mysteries of engineering stuff was John Avent.
The finished product is astounding, over a terabyte of digital information, hundreds of data sheets and thousands of photographs. We now know more about the building and its condition than ever before, and that information has saved us time and money when looking at new projects.This project demonstrates what can be done when you can assemble the right team, with the right skills and a challenge of gigantic proportions. It isn’t glamourous, but we’re glad they do it!
Lynda Jubb and Richard Clews of Jubb and Jubb and their team collected the award.
The Friends of the Illuminations were formed in 2010 with a mission to raise funds to help keep the lights shining. The group was welcomed with open arms by the Illuminations team, who saw the opportunity to open its doors to the community and create a greater sense of ownership by the public.
The Friends are a collection of individuals, some with businesses who all saw the importance of the attraction to local business and the tourism and cultural offer of the town.To do this, they’ve enlisted showbiz stars and celebrities; held a regular Banquet, Ball and switch off parties. One of their most successful money raisers has been the “Buy a Lamp” campaign, where people could buy a lamp with their name on that would then be used in the display. To date the Friends have raised an amazing sum of over £100,000 for the display. This is a fabulous group of people who’ve given so much of their own time to this fantastic cause. The financial and moral support they offer the Illuminations department is tremendous and we remain forever in their debt. Shirley Hunt and members of the Friend’s collected the Award.
Originally constructed in 1914 as part of the exclusive new promenade and then redesigned in 1928, Jubilee Gardens, is situated in a very prominent position on Blackpool’s North Shore Promenade close to Gynn Square.
The Friends of Jubilee Gardens (Gynn) was formed in May 2016, when local community members came together to volunteer their time on this neglected, tired and forgotten gem of a garden. The volunteers meet twice a week to work on weeding the gardens, clearing the paths and steps, painting benches, planting flower beds, pruning, propagating, fundraising and keeping the gardens tidy and litter free.
Working in partnership with local and national groups, they have created an attractive area for the community and our visitors. The revitalised gardens have seen a decrease in anti-social behavior, drinking and drug abuse while increasing respect, community ownership and pride from its users.Their most recent projects have been the reinstatement of the once broken waterfall, enhancing the Blue Light Memorial area, securing funding for plants from Tesco’s Bags of Help Scheme and the ongoing excavation of the original 1928 Rockery.
The Friends of Jubilee Gardens collected their award.
A meeting of the Trustees of the Blackpool Grammar School Old Boys Memorial Fund in September 2015 took the decision to close the fund within two years because of the age of the Trustees, and the opinion that the Trust had achieved its objectives.
After sharing out their remaining funds amongst some very good causes, there was still sufficient money to support one final legacy.The memory of Superintendent Gerry Richardson had hitherto been just a small brass plate. The Trustees decided to fund the creation of a memorial garden to Gerry, at the front of the Aspire Academy. This garden was to incorporate the previous foundation stones of Collegiate Grammar School for Girls and the coat of arms from the former Collegiate High School along with the plaque already commemorating Gerry. This memorial garden will be for future use by Aspire students for events of celebration, or remembrance, and a focal assembly point for the whole school. On 23rd August 2016 an impressive dedication ceremony took place on the 45th anniversary of Gerry’s death, attended by two Chief Constables, many civic dignitaries and an invited guest list of 100. This is now the site to commemorate and celebrate three former schools, all of which have left an important legacy for Blackpool as well as a place to reflect on the bravery of one Old Boy of the school.
The judges are:
Alistair Baines is a local architect and has been involved with the awards judging for some years now.
Clare Johnson is from Blackpool Council’s Planning Department.
Josh Connolly is from Blackpool Sixth Form College and Tim Shane is from Blackpool & the Fylde College.
The buildings of today are the future heritage of our children & grandchildren and so we think it’s essential to have young people on our panel.
Canon Andrew Sage, Blackpool Civic Trust’s Planning Officer.
Then the team set about raising funds to develop these buildings with the aim of improving access for audience members in wheelchairs and those with restricted movement and creating a better working environment for staff at the Theatre.
As part of this, a series of new dressing rooms and meeting spaces were created in the under utilised upper floors of the shops along with a brand new multi-purpose room that can be used for rehearsals, meetings and events.
As part of the project, the original dress circle bar has been restored to its original size and configuration, allowing many more of us to reach the bar at intervals for a welcome drink!
Needless to say, since this complex work was finished the Grand Theatre has had a very positive feedback from its audiences, funders, visitors, staff and Trustees.
Representatives of the Grand Theatre, Cassidy and Ashton Architects, F Parkinson as contractor and Mr Shaun Ward of Blackpool Council who was project manager for this scheme collected the Award.
Last year we received no nominations for other building categories. As you will have seen, we have celebrated many achievements in the community. The work on the Grand Theatre also benefited the community. We believe there are other interesting and exciting developments in Blackpool that also merit their own awards.
The Blackpool Civic Trust Committee, in consultation with our judging panel has decided to make three more awards. The first one is:
Combine Victorian grandeur with the fun and flamboyance of Blackpool to create the next generation of a well-loved traditional restaurant. That was the challenge for Manchester based design consultancy, CDS Wilman.
The brief was to create a new flagship location for a 21st century Harry Ramsden restaurant within the iconic Grade 1 listed Blackpool Tower.The design team was initially tasked with providing a scheme to upgrade the old Tower Lounge space to house a 250 seat restaurant and a 60-seat quick-service takeaway outlet. The overall concept aimed to capture the spirit and energy that makes Blackpool a truly unique destination; establishing this feeling as an intrinsic part of the restaurant experience was central to the design process. It was crucial that the design responded to the various challenges presented by the architecture and heritage of the world famous Tower. This included entrances from the street on three different sides, a mix of low ceilings and double height spaces – and , most importantly, ensuring that the design worked with the running of all the other public attractions within the Tower. The scheme continued the fantastic quality of the restoration to the promenade frontage, restoring and replicating the beautiful cloud panels above the promenade doors and incorporating other art deco features within a scheme that is both contemporary and reflects changes to the Tower in the 1930’s.
This was intended to provide more space and better facilities in which employees could relax and visitors could be entertained. This has improved staff morale, provided better working conditions and created a hub for members of staff and visitors to relax and socialize during the working day.
The architects worked within the constraints of the existing space yet created a unique design transforming the interior space beyond recognition. The combination of feature curved timber ceilings and coffered areas allowed interest whilst still affording plenty of height within the space.
Floor finishes were chosen to harmonize with the ceiling appearance and flexible, bright and attractive furniture selected to modernize the area to bring colour and vibrancy into the space.Representatives from Glasdons, Cassidy and Ashton architects, and Fylde Joinery and Building Services collected the Award.
Blackpool Carers Centre was launched in 2005 at a Blackpool Tower fundraising event, attended by The Princess Royal. Its purpose is “A Better Life for Carers”.The service has grown and developed in line with local need. In Blackpool it now supports over 4,000 family carers from the age of 5 years up. In 2014 they began searching for a new building as they had outgrown their existing premises. In 2015 the Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust purchased the beautiful Blenheim House building specifically to house the Blackpool Carers Centre. The building had sadly been wrecked by metal thieves and the next challenge facing the team was the prospect of renovation. On April 8th 2016, a phone call from Children in Need confirmed that their project had been selected from applications from across the country to be part of the DIY SOS Big Build special. They were overjoyed. The generosity of over 300 volunteers and donors was overwhelming. Laurence Llewelyn Bowen’s inspirational design flair and Laurence Mitchell’s garden ensured that the newly named, Beaverbrooks House would be a flagship Carer’s Centre - something that Blackpool can be proud of. A year on from the Big Build, the carers, staff and volunteers are settling in and making themselves comfortable. Not too comfortable though because they’re preparing for their next project; the renovation of the annex to provide fantastic respite accommodation!
Joan Humble thanked Andy for reading out the citations, Carl Carrington for his ongoing support and the Worshipful the Mayor of Blackpool for giving out the awards. Presentations were given to Andy, Carl and Jan to say thank you properly. There were also flowers for the Mayor.
Thanks to members of our committee whose skill is to be seen all around us in the form of the decorations, printed menus, and raffle prizes.
Andy Mitcell, Joan Humble, Kath Rowson, Carl Carrington:
Joan Humble, Jan Cresswell:
Simon Blackburn, David Owen, Andy Mitchell:
Read our previous Awards events. Click here.