Civic Update

12 January 2018

Our new address is:
Civic Voice, The Coffin Works, 13-15 Fleet Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B3 1JP.
Tel.: 0121 792 8177
Please update your records.


In the first edition of civic update for 2018, we look to the year ahead. 2018 will see dozens of conservation areas across England celebrate 50th anniversaries (see if you have one local here) and Civic Voice will continue to make the Big Conservation Conversation our main theme for the year. We have a whole host of events lined up for the campaign which you can see here. Key dates include:

Throughout the year, we also have a series of workshops to engage young people in the historic environment.

We will also be supporting the delivery of a series of regional events across the country. Read more here.

Work with us in 2018 as we lead the civic movement to create a country where every individual can say "I care about where I live". Support us (here) and become part of the movement speaking up for conservation areas! Click here for more information.


Annual Convention heading to Birmingham to celebrate 100 years of the civic movement

Photograph: Sir Terry Farrell Photograph: Laura Sandys Deborah Lamb

Sir Terry Farrell, Laura Sandys and Deborah Lamb

The annual gathering of the civic movement will be heading to Birmingham in 2018 and we have the best line up of speakers planned. We will be hosted by Birmingham Civic Society and the theme in 2018 will be "Development in a conservation area". We will be learning the lessons from the Civic Voice Design Awards and showing how communities are are championing well-designed new build, heritage and public realm projects across England. The key theme running through the convention will be communities celebrating high quality development in a conservation area.

We are delighted that the first set of speakers we are announcing are:

More speakers will be shared in Civic Update throughout January.

The dates you need are 19/20 October. More information here.

Why are we heading to Birmingham? To help Birmingham Civic Society celebrate 100 years of the civic movement. The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £55,700 towards the project to celebrate the centenary of the Society. The Centenary programme will include a Young People’s Blue Plaque film project, an outdoor temporary exhibition in the city centre, a citywide heritage trail, conserving the statue of Queen Victoria in Victoria Square, installing four new Blue Plaques to notable citizens, enhancing information about our Archive in the Library of Birmingham, increasing the historical content on our website, and delivering a whole range of tours, talks, and family activities throughout 2018.

Read more about Birmingham Civic Society's centenary here.

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APPG for Civic Societies: Giving you a voice in Parliament

Photograph: Front bench at APPG meeting

Throughout 2018, we plan to continue being an ever present voice for the civic movement and making the case for conservation areas through our All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies.

We start with disappointing news though, as we have unfortunately had to postpone the first of our APPG events on January 31st 2018. Following the re-shuffle in the week, John Glen MP (previous Heritage Minister) who was attending and speaking has been moved to the Treasury so is now no longer able to attend as Heritage Minister. We are re-scheduling with the new Heritage Minister and will confirm a later date.

We are pleased that we can confirm that we have three APPG events in the pipeline with the first event taking place on 13th March, debating the "Future of the National Planning Policy Framework". This event is timed to link in with the Government's NPPF review due to start at the end of February. We have already been in touch and invited the new Housing Minister, Dominic Raab MP to attend. This event is for Civic Voice members only.

The second of the APPG for Civic Societies debates will be held on 3rd April and will focus on the Big Conservation Conversation. We will be publishing proposals calling for changes we believe need to be made to ensure Conservation Areas are giving greater protection. This event is for Civic Voice members only.

The third APPG for Civic Societies event currently in the diary is June 6th and will be a celebration of civic pride as we launch National Civic Day. This event is for Civic Voice members only.

More information on any of the above can be accessed via

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National Civic Day: Conservation Areas Count - June 16th 2018

Photograph: A group of people wearing Civic Day T-shirts

National Civic Day is a national celebration of civic pride. This year it is taking place on June 16th 2018. For Civic Day 2018 we want communities across the country to come together and say "My Conservation Area Matters". We will be launching a publication to celebrate the Big Conservation Conversation and want to include your stories. If you are planning to celebrate your conservation area, let us know at

Although conservation areas will be the key theme, we are encouraging anyone with plans to promote civic pride in their area to get involved no matter what you will be celebrating. You can find ideas on what to do in our Civic Day publication found here.

Civic Voice is also planning to host a series of workshops across the country to help our members with their Civic Day plans. The workshops will teach our members how to promote their events in the most effective manner and how best to engage with the public. See here where we are planning to host our workshops. Email if you are interested in attending any events. If you can't make a workshop, why not use our toolkit found here.

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Civic Voice Design Awards - 12th July 2018

Picture: Line up of people around Civic Voice Awards board

The Civic Voice Design Awards are the people’s choice for architecture and the built environment. It is the only design awards scheme in England which allows communities to celebrate the buildings, places and spaces they love for their high quality design and positive impact on the local community by nominating them for a national award.

Building on the success of the 2017 awards, Civic Voice, once again, is inviting nominations from community groups, civic societies, neighbourhood forums, residents' associations and friends of parks groups, for the 2018 awards.

This year, Civic Voice wants to hear about well-designed housing developments from across the country: one for developments of up to 50 dwellings and another for larger schemes. These categories come at a vital time, with the country currently divided between wanting to get housing built as quickly as possible and communities demanding quality homes and development. We want to show through the Awards that we can achieve both. Do you know any schemes?

As we continue to mark the importance of Conservation Areas on England, there will again be a special prize this year for a development within a Conservation Area, which could be awarded from any of the categories. Do you know a fantastic building, project or development in mind? Submit your application by the deadline - 14th February 2018. Submit schemes here.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at The Leadenhall Building on 12th July. We are pleased to confirm that The Civic Voice Design Award Masterclass will also return for another year. (See here)

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First World War Memorial programme - all year round events

Photogrdaph: Line up of children holding a 'Save our war memorial!' banner

The First World War Memorials Programme will be entering its final year and we want even more communities involved. We will be pushing this throughout the year with a series of "sharing success event" and want more towns and cities able to say we have found and recorded the condition of all of our war memorials. Get involved here.

2018 marks the final year of the First World War Memorials Programme. Civic Voice are planning to host a further 100 workshops this year to make sure as many of you as possible have had the training to survey the condition of your war memorial and access the funding for repair and conservation of your war memorials. Remember the funding is only available during the First World War Centenary years.

The centenary is a chance to understand more about the war, uncover its stories and explore what it means to us today and a series of events will be organised so we can "hear the stories" and review the past few years to see “how communities have remembered the fallen". We invite you to attend a free event near to you in:

Sharing the stories of the First World War Memorials Programme

Engaging Young People in Heritage

We will use the events to show how the First World War centenary is engaging new audiences and consider how we ensure young people stay involved in the historic environment sector once the commemorations are finished. If you have yet to engage in the commemoration, please do attend these events as it will be your chance to see how others, in the final year of the centenary are remembering the former members of their community. After the event, you too can make a difference by making sure your local war memorial is protected for future generations by getting it listed and added to War Memorials Online.

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Get Involved!

Sign up for Civic Voice's range of newlsetters

Photograph: Group of conservationists

Regional War Memorials workshops

Photograph: Group holding 'save our memorials' banner

Trustees' Roadshow

Photograph: Trustees

Big Conservation Conversation

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Civic Day

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Civic Voice Design Awards News

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War Memorials News

Sign up here to receive bi-weekly news on what communities are doing to commemorate the fallen during the centenary years

Civic Voice is calling for volunteers from around England to attend a meeting or workshop with us to discuss how best to find and survey every war memorial.

Workshops will be announced throughout the year in different locations, so keep a look out for a workshop in your area! You can see them here.

If you can't attend a workshop why not get involved through our War Memorials Condition Survey Toolkit. This is an easy step by step guide which trains volunteers how to carry out condition surveys on war memorials. You can see this here!

For more information or to get involved email

Does your civic society want a visit from the chairwoman of Civic Voice or perhaps you would like another trustee or member of the Civic Voice team to come and speak to your society? We have a number of people willing to come and talk to your society about all things civic.

Many of the Civic Voice team have been travelling the country delivering the talk which is titled 'The Future of the Civic Movement.' If you would like one of our trustees or team members to come and speak to your society please email with your request.