Friday 12th April 2019 at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool
Event Press Release
On Friday 12th April 2019, Blackpool Civic Trust held its Annual Awards and Dinner at the Imperial Hotel in front of over 160 guests, including John Barnett Deputy Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool.
Blackpool Civic Trust gave out awards to schools , community groups and local businesses who had contributed to supporting and improving Blackpool in 2018.
Chair of Blackpool Civic Trust, Joan Humble, today commented: “The evening was a very enjoyable way to celebrate individual and group achievement in Blackpool. I am pleased that John Barnett, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, and the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Gary Coleman and Councillor Debbie Coleman, could join us, together with Blackpool MP, Gordon Marsden. The 2018 Awards highlight the good work of a variety of community groups and also businesses in Blackpool which are supporting our local economy”.
The winners in each category are:-
Junior School Environmental Shield: Park Community Academy
Senior School Environmental Shield: Park Community Academy
Blackpool Council Conservation Award: Hayles and Howe.
Community Award: Highly Commended to South Shore Partnership
Runner-up to The Boathouse Youth
Winner to Revoe-Lution Choir
Best Open Spaces: Glasdon Group Limited
Best Night Time Economy: Highly Commended to No 10 Ale House (Blackpool)
Joint Winner-Michael Wan’s Wok Inn
Joint Winner-Italio Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
Best New Build: Highly Commended to Hampton by Hilton Hotel, Blackpool
Joint Winner; Park Community Academy
Joint Winner; West Division Police Headquarters
Best Refurbishment: Highly Commended to Woodland School;
Winner to The HIVE;
Best New Visitor Attraction: Joint Winner; Project Elephant Base Camp at Blackpool Zoo
Joint Winner; ICON, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Transforming Blackpool: Lightpool Festival
Special Award: The Great BTH KNIT Poppy Installation
Notes and Photos from the event
The ceremony presents our Awards for last year, 2018
We were pleased to have with us:
Mr John Barnett MBE, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant representing the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire
The Worshipful the Mayor of Blackpool, Councillor Gary Coleman and the Mayoress, Councillor Mrs. Debbie Coleman.
Mr Gordon Marsden, Member of Parliament for Blackpool South as well as the leader of the Council, Councillor Simon Blackburn and the Town’s Chief Executive, Mr. Neil Jack.
Mr Ian Harvey, the Executive Director of Civic Voice, the national charity that speaks up on behalf of local civic societies like us here in Blackpool.
We were especially pleased that Ian came to our event because on 15th October 2009 Blackpool hosted the first gathering of civic societies in a National Convention. Delegates were welcomed by Elaine Smith as the then Chair of Blackpool Civic Trust. From that meeting Civic Voice was formally created on 17th April 2010 in London and will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary next year. Welcome to you all in a special year for the civic movement.
This is our 44th Annual Awards and Annual Dinner. The first official meeting of Blackpool Civic Trust was held in February 1975 at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Sir Harold Grime, the distinguished editor of the Gazette agreed to become the President and Geoffrey Thompson, the Managing Director of the Pleasure Beach, became the first Chairman.
We are also joined this evening by our current President and former Chair, Mrs. Elaine Smith MBE.
Two of our Vice-Presidents were involved in Blackpool Civic Trust from the very first meeting are here. Cllr David Owen was our first Secretary and Mr Martin Gunson started as Press Officer, became Vice-Chairman and then Chairman. Our third Vice-President, Mr Barry Shaw, is another former Chair and a noted local historian.
We also welcomed many individual and Corporate Members of Blackpool Civic Trust.
Thanks to Carl Carrington, Blackpool’s Head of Planning and his colleague, Jan Cresswell, Blackpool’s Conservation Officer, who cannot be with us this evening, for all the support they have given the Civic Trust throughout the year.
Our very good friend and member of the Trust, the News Editor at Radio Wave, Mr Andy Mitchell has once again agreed to be our MC for the evening.
Geoffrey Thompson, was our first Chair and his daughter, Amanda Thompson OBE, Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, has continued to support Blackpool Civic Trust as our Patron. Amanda is represented tonight by Mr and Mrs Robert Owen.
Councillor Gary Coleman, the Worshipful the Mayor of Blackpool presented our awards:
Schools Environmental Shield
This year both the Junior School Environmental Shield and the Senior School Environmental Shield are presented to Park Community Academy.
Park Community Academy prides itself on its environmentally friendly ethos. The pupil ECO representatives and the ECO council, work to develop the environment of both the school and also the surrounding community.
The children raise money for Fairtrade activities and the concept of Fairtrade is embedded in the school curriculum through lessons such as literacy and learning about the cocoa bean, maths and learning about the price difference of the Fairtrade products. As a result, Park Academy has secured a Fairtrade award for the second time.
One of their proudest achievements is that the ECO School Green Flag has now been flying over Park Community Academy for twelve years.
One focus in the last year has been building their Global Citizenship links to maintain a recently awarded Foundation Certificate in International Schools. Key Stage 1 pupils have recently completed a project with a school in Egypt. Key Stage 2 have worked with a school in India. A further 5 projects are running in the school, including sending their uniforms to schools in Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Egypt.
Please welcome to the stage representatives of Park Community Academy.
The BLACKPOOL COUNCIL CONSERVATION AWARD
This award, now in its eighth year is sponsored by Blackpool Council for excellence in conservation or high quality building restoration work.
The winner is Hayles and Howe
The last year has been a busy one at Blackpool Winter Gardens, with the year of celebrations for its 140th Birthday as well as the complete replacement of the Spanish Hall Roof.
What the Council was not expecting was to be undertaking a major restoration of the Empress Ballroom ceiling, but after problems with one of the large plaster panels it was clear a lot of work needed to be done.
Enter Hayles and Howe. Established in Bristol forty years ago by David Hayles the company is one of only a very few in the UK that have the skills to undertake this kind of restoration.
First, a detailed survey of the ceiling was carried out with every area of damage mapped onto a huge ceiling plan. Then, a programme and methods of repair were agreed with the Council’s conservation officer.
The restoration work involved tying back large parts of the ceiling to the roof structure using steel wires and repairing every crack and damaged section using traditional fibrous plaster.
Because the ceiling hasn’t yet been re-painted, visitors can see the extent of the work and if you come to one of the Winter Gardens Open Days, you can see a life size copy of one of the panels!
The Civic Trust’s COMMUNITY AWARD can go to any kind of community or voluntary group and it recognises groups or individuals making a difference in their community.
Blackpool has so many community groups working hard within the town that it was very difficult to choose between the many nominations that we have received. We therefore decided that this year we would give more than one award.
The Civic Trust wishes first of all to acknowledge the hard work of the South Shore Community Partnership with a Highly Commended Certificate.
The South Shore Community Partnership was formed in 2016 and initially held quarterly meetings to link the community to service providers such as the Council, the Police, Red Cross and others, in order to solve local issues.
From that beginning, the group has taken on the lease for the Old Library Centre to ensure that the building stays open for all the community.
They work with active volunteers who offer an array of different classes seven days a week. These classes include Art, Bridge, Crafts, Scrabble, Sewing, Computers and Card Making. There is also a Chinese Sunday School and new classes are being launched all the time. All of these classes offer residents a place to go and socialize and meet new friends.
And our runner up in the Best Community Group category is The Boathouse Youth.
The Boathouse Youth is Blackpool’s biggest Youth Club and this year they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary.
Since 2009, thousands of young people have benefited from their regular programme of evening sessions, camping and canal residential courses. They also offer Duke of Edinburgh Award Schemes, cycling expeditions and much, much more.
The Boat House Youth works with young people to build confidence and aspirations and encourage participants to go on into further education, employment and training.
The provision is free for all young people who attend and staff are passionate about giving everybody greater access to opportunities and support with their future ambitions.
Representatives of The Boathouse Youth.
The Best Community Group
The Revoe-Lution Community Choir.
The Revoe-Lution Community Choir is one of those fun and creative community groups that make Blackpool a better place to live. Wherever they go, whatever the event, they dress to impress.
They’re soon approaching their 6th birthday and have performed on television and radio and at some beautiful venues around Blackpool, including Stanley Park, the Winter gardens, the North Pier Theatre and Blackpool’s famous Blackpool Tower Circus.
Being invited to high profile events is always an honour but generally they will perform anywhere and for a variety of different causes so long as they get a cup of tea!
Special thanks go to Angela Buss, the founder of Revoe Choir. She had the vision in 2013 and the choir wouldn’t be what they are today without Angela’s determination, extensive planning and recruitment.
Representatives of the Revoe-Lution Choir.
OPEN SPACES AWARD.
This award is aimed at recognising achievements in creating attractive public spaces either landscaped or hardscaped.
The winner of the Open Spaces Award 2018 is the Glasdon Group Limited
WELCOME to BLACKPOOL- the area on Preston New Road, outside the Glasdon Group Ltd. Offices has been redeveloped by Blackpool Council working in partnership with funding from the Glasdon Group.
The improvement has seen over 20,000 daffodils and 50 trees planted to create a well maintained, bright and colourful approach to one of the main roads into Blackpool from the M55 motorway.
Glasdons have supported Blackpool Council by providing their feature fencing and signage, together with funding for the bright floral display which is renewed annually.
The gardening team from Blackpool Council plant the area at the start of the summer season, with regular grass cutting complimenting the area. This is a great example of working with partners for the benefit of all the local residents and visitors to Blackpool.
Founded by its Chairman, Donald Sidebottom MBE, Blackpool based Glasdon Group Limited is this year celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Martin Wallwork of Glasdon Group Ltd
Special Environmental Award
As well as announcing the Best Open Space award, the Blackpool Civic Trust Committee decided to give a Special Environmental Award to a group who didn’t qualify for our Best Open Spaces Award but are doing excellent work in their own enclosed space.
The Special Environmental Award goes to the Bridge Farm Allotments.
Set in the heart of the bustling Hawes Side Lane community, Bridge Farm Allotments provides an oasis of tranquility to be enjoyed by visitors and allotment keepers of all ages. Green lawns and structured planting at the entrance lead to lovingly cared for plots each reflecting the individual allotment holders’ creativity.
Always keen to improve the standard of allotments, they have purchased a large log cabin which is used as a meeting room and an area to display and sell produce on Open Days. They share their skills with local school children, demonstrating how vegetables are grown instead of coming in packages in shops.
Members of Bridge Farm Allotments are very proud of their “Secret Garden” site and enjoy opening their gates to the public.
Mr. and Mrs. Hudson of Bridge Farm Allotments.
Best Night Time Economy
The next award is for Best Night Time Economy. In this category we start by awarding a
Highly Commended Certificate to the No.10 Ale House (Blackpool).
George, the owner of the No 10 Ale House, opened the first Micro pub on the Fylde Coast and has now opened this, his second, to compliment the No 10 Ale House in St Annes.
The business promotes real ale, real ciders, fine wines and bottled beers. The business aims to encourage conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.
George is unable to attend this evening to pick up the award because he is busy working at the No 10, but we will ensure that he receives it.
Because of the quality of two of the nominations in this category, we are giving two awards.
The first goes to the Michael Wan’s Wok Inn.
Having opened in August 2018, the Wok inn is located in a beautiful seafront building on Blackpool’s promenade directly opposite North Pier. The restaurant has a striking panoramic view, which is perfect for watching the sun setting over the sea.
During the renovation process the owners found some amazing original features such as the original sign from Nutbrown Kitchens. This encouraged them to follow the “ruin bar” theme, leaving exposed steel beams, brickwork and ceramic tiles.
The Wok Inn received a glowing report from Guardian and Observer Magazine restaurant critic Jay Raynor and the Blackpool Gazette’s first 10 star review. More recently, the restaurant has been nominated as best newcomer in the Golden Chopsticks awards due to be revealed in London later this month.
Gareth Lai-Thomas from Michael Wan’s Wok Inn.
The joint winner of the Award for Best Night Time Economy goes to Italio Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
Since opening over 4 years ago Italio have tried to maintain a high level of business development and reinvestment in their area. Every year they have further developed Italio, involving Blackpool Council’s Planning Department in order to achieve sustainable results with a positive impact on their local area as well as on the restaurant.
The terrace area was a result of trying to retain the characteristics of a building that was over a hundred years old and Locally Listed, whilst giving the restaurant usable year-round outside space. The new structure is free standing, heated and has a 360 degree field of view.
There is still further work to be done at Italio but it is a popular night time restaurant, offering a venue to individual customers and also private functions.
Representatives from Italio Restaurant and Cocktail Bar.
The School Shields, Community Awards and Open Space were chosen by members of our Executive Committee. The Best Night Time Economy was chosen by the Committee with advice from our panel of judges. The next awards were chosen by this panel of judges.
But before introducing the judges, I want to thank those who have sponsored this evening.
Blackpool Borough Council
Cassidy & Ashton Architects of Preston & Chester,
Mick Grewcock, The Burbage Holiday Group
We have also been supported by several local businesses listed below:
AB InBev UK
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Brothers Drinks Co Ltd
No 1, South Beach
Skinny Brands Lager
Sunny Dee’s Holiday
It is the generosity of these firms and the local authority that has helped us so much this evening and we are very grateful to them all.
Now we come to the judges:
Alistair Baines is an architect with Cassidy and Ashton
Pippa Greenway is from Blackpool Council’s Planning Department.
Nigel Patterson is Blackpool Civic Trust’s Planning Officer
Best New Build
Last year we had no nominations for the category of Best New Build. This year we have had several and are giving three awards. We will start with a Highly Commended for Hampton by Hilton Blackpool.
The new Hampton by Hilton Hotel is situated on South Promenade in Blackpool. The hotel offers a prime seafront position with stunning views over the Irish Sea. The hotel is within walking distance of the Sandcastle Waterpark and the Pleasure Beach and only a short tram ride to Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens.
The building uses artisan brick which helps it blend with other buildings in the area, but its striking curved façade is one of its greatest features, particularly when lit at night.
Representatives of the Hampton by Hilton Hotel.
The judges decided to reward the efforts of two developments with a Best New Build Award. The first is Park Community Academy.
The new teaching block’s design concept is of a timber pavilion set against the backdrop of a small woodland that forms part of the extended school site.
The school intends to deliver Forest School learning using the woodland as part of the scheme. The use of timber cladding on the building and its visibility from the school’s main playground will also help to connect this sense of nature and the woodland into the rest of the school.
Each of the five classrooms features an independent roof structure with a large window at the top. The roof windows also open automatically to provide natural ventilation to each classroom and the corridor as part of the sustainability strategy.
The whole building is heated using a low energy underfloor heating system which along with the sensor controlled lighting and water saving functions, will make it extremely energy efficient and easy for the school to use.
Representatives of Park school.
The joint Best New Build has been awarded to the new West Division Police Headquarters.
The new facility, located on a 4.54 hectare site on the outskirts of Blackpool, provides a base for policing and immediate response teams, as well as a public enquiry desk, investigations hub and 42 custody cells.
Through subtle design solutions, which reduce floor space and provide flexibility for the constabulary’s evolving operational requirements, officers have been provided with an improved and more efficient work environment.
The external appearance of the building takes its cues from Blackpool and the vibrant seaside environment with the central atrium space being called “The Promenade” and the intelligent use of colour and form derived from the sea and sand to create a contemporary building in keeping with its locality.
The essence of the scheme is the interface of three contrasting building types and fusing them together in an efficient and flexible way. This provides an improved environment for staff and detainees, while delivering important efficiencies for the force.
Representatives of the Lancashire Constabulary.
The judges have decided to acknowledge two of the entries in the Best Refurbishment category. Firstly, they have awarded a Highly Commended to Woodlands School.
Pupils at Woodlands School have a wide range of learning needs including severe, profound and complex learning difficulties, and many have a broad range of additional special needs.
The newly refurbished school has enabled pupils to engage and experience new opportunities. Each classroom has an extended outdoor space, which has created greater opportunities for the pupils to take their learning outside.
The school’s aim is to engage pupils in enjoyable learning activities that are of value to them now and in the future. Many pupils require sensory input throughout the day and the new outdoor areas are proving to be beneficial for pupils in a whole host of ways.
Representatives of Woodlands School to accept their award.
The winner of the award for Best Refurbishment goes to HIVE, Church Street.
HIVE’s mission is to create an independent artisan coffee shop that provides customers with a memorable experience whilst eating, drinking, socialising and working.
The building at 80-82 Church Street ended its retail life about four years ago as a card shop with a betting office on the first floor. Poor investment had left the façade in a sorry state and the empty building was an eyesore.Taking its influence from London café culture what has been created is a stripped back urban coffee shop with a touch of chic and class. It offers stylish design with a light with light airy space that attracts both young and not so young customers. It was a year in the planning and involved change of use planning consent, converting the building back to a single unit and the installation of a new kitchen and toilets. The refurbishment involved the repair and decoration of the external façade to create the attractive building we can now see.
Representatives of the HIVE:
The Best New Visitor Attraction
The Blackpool Civic Trust Committee decided that there were two very worthy candidates.
The first equal is Project Elephant Base Camp at Blackpool Zoo.
Blackpool Zoo’s Project Elephant Base Camp is one of the largest and most innovative buildings of its type in the UK.
This facility is the key to Blackpool Zoo reaching world class standards of husbandry and welfare for the herd of elephants, with a special focus on their wellbeing.
The physical comfort of the animals is paramount, with deep sand bedding and various other surfaces, including soft rubber matting, bark, sand, extensive grass areas and a deep pool in which the elephants can swim.Ongoing landscaping will improve its aesthetic appeal further as greenery matures. The latest technology enables the keepers to operate all gates, slides and handling areas remotely and in safety.
Representatives of Blackpool Zoo.
The joint winner of the Best New Visitor Attraction is ICON; Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
After much anticipation, Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s new £16.25m rollercoaster ICON opened to the public in May 2018 after 5 years of planning.
ICON is one of the most exciting rollercoasters in the world and the UK’s first double-launch rollercoaster. ICON propels riders to heights of 88ft, reaching the same levels of acceleration felt by the driver of a Formula 1 car. ICON interacts with many of the park’s other rides to create a thrilling experience which riders will never forget.
Riders are launched through the Big One lift hill at breathtaking speeds then arch over footpaths as the public gaze in amazement before weaving around the Steeplechase. A second thrust of acceleration hurtles you over the highest point of the ride and then twists through a heart stopping high five moment with the Big Dipper. All in just over two minutes!ICON brings together the Thompson and Mack families, owners of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and leading manufacturer of amusement park attractions, Mack Rides respectively. The development is the biggest of its kind in recent years and cements Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s position as one of the world’s leading amusement parks.
Robert Owen to the stage to receive the award on behalf of our Patron, Amanda Thompson.
The Transforming Blackpool award
Presented to the Lightpool Festival.
The Lightpool Festival, launched in 2016 and takes place over the October half-term. The inaugural event, with live performances and light-based art installations, won the Large Tourism Event at the Lancashire Tourism Awards.
The Lightpool Festival 2018 featured an ambitious programme which included the spectacular Light Odyssey- a mix of 3D light projection and music by the BBC Philharmonic in the Winter gardens Empress Ballroom and the incredible Pyronix- a light, pyrotechnic and fire show extravaganza staged in St John’s Square.
The festival is a great example of what can be achieved with partnerships and the festival was made possible by significant funding and support from Arts Council England, VisitBlackpool, Left Coast, and the Blackpool BID.
Representatives of Lightpool
The final award is a Special Award,
A very special award. In 2018 the whole country commemorated the ending of World War 1. Civic Voice trained civic societies to register war memorials in their towns and cities. Blackpool Civic Trust was the first society to register all its war memorials on the national site. We also contributed to an amazing project organized by Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Our Special Award goes to The GreatBTHKnit.
Blackpool Victoria Hospital last year unveiled a ground breaking memorial to mark the centenary of World War 1.
The replica structure of the Menin Gate was built by generous local businesses who donated their time and materials, especially for the 100 year anniversary.
The Cloak of Poppies was a result of a year-long campaign, #TheGreatBTHKnit, which saw hundreds of knitters and crocheters from around the globe donating 28,000 poppies to adorn the innovative structure. UNISON kindly donated the wool for the project.
On November 9th, Hospital Chaplain, Clive Lord, lead a moving service in the hospital’s main entrance which included the Layton Primary School choir and 14 year old bugler, Ben Parkinson, performing the Last Post. The Royal British Legion provided standard bearers from the North West and formed part of the service as well as Reservists who work for the Trust.
Representatives of Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
We thank Andy Mitchell for reading out the citations, Carl Carrington for his ongoing support, Jan for encouraging us in our projects and the Worshipful the Mayor of Blackpool for giving out the awards. I have presentations to give to Andy, Carl and Jan to say thank you properly.
For the Mayor and Mayoress I have a gift for their wider family.I have already thanked many people but must give thanks to members of our own committee whose skill is to be seen all around us in the form of the decorations, printed menus, and raffle prizes. The civic trust committee works as a team to make sure we celebrate the achievements of so many individuals and organisations here in Blackpool. Finally, thank you to everyone who has supported us in any way, if only by being here this evening. We are grateful to you all
Next the Annual Dinner, after we were entertained by “Wyre Levee Stompers Jazz Band”.
Mr John Barnett MBE, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant representing the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire and Mrs Danielle Barnett
Welcome to Civic Voice:
Sophie Mason, Martin Gunson (BCT Vice-President & Civic Voice Trustee), Sarah James, Ian Harvey (CEO, Civic Voice)
Blackpool Civic Trust Members: Lorraine Calvert, Jean Brookhouse (standing), Betty Bradford, Geraldine Sage (standing), Avis Coburn (standing), Babs Rothwell
Nigel Patterson, Lynn Patterson, Cllr David O’Hara, Heather O’Hara
Peter & Louise Mowbray
Judi Brown, John Garnham (background Gill Howard)
Roy Lewis, Cllr David Owen
John & Marjorie Taylor
Andy Mitchell & Elaine Smith MBE (President of Blackpool Civic Trust)
Barry Shaw, Mayor Cllr Gary Coleman
Gordon Marsden, MP & Joan Humble (Chair of Blackpool Civic Trust and Civic Voice), Mayor of Blackpool, Cllr Gary Coleman, Mayoress Cllr Debbie Coleman
On Friday 12th April 2019, Blackpool Civic Trust will hold its Annual Awards and Dinner at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool. These awards are for activity in the previous year.
Read our previous Awards events. Click here.