Photograph: CV Design Awards plaque

Civic Update

7 July 2017

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


Our focus and priority for this week has been on making sure that everything is in place for the Civic Voice Design Awards ceremony taking place next week.

We are delighted that this year's award ceremony (more informaion here) is taking place at The Leadenhall Building, (known as the Cheesegrater!) in London on Friday 14th July. This time next week, we will be in the mix of the Civic Voice Design Award ceremony, first with a masterclass (more information here) discussing the shortlist in more detail and then with the award ceremony. You can see the shortlist here.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank British Land, Farrells and Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners for supporting this year's awards. We are delighted that Laura Sandys, Civic Voice Vice-President and Deborah Lamb, Deputy CEO of Historic England will be helping to present the awards. If you want an idea about why the awards are so inspiring, please watch this video from last year's event below.

The plaques have arrived, brochures printed and catering ordered. The wait is almost over to find out who will be crowned Civic Voice Design Awards 2017 Overall Winner. Tweet us who you think should win: @civic_voice.

P.S. Read here if you want to see how Civic Voice member, York Civic Trust recruited 60 members in a single weekend!

Photograph: Max Farrell(video)

Contents:


Civic Voice Design Awards ceremony 7 days away

Photograph: View across the Thames showing the Cheesegrater building

Logos of those involved in the awards

What make the Civic Voice Design Awards special is that they are not the usual industry awards where professionals give awards to other professionals. Nominated and supported by local people, the awards recognise places that are loved by local people for both their high quality design and positive contribution to the local area.

Unique in England, the Civic Voice Design Awards give communities the opportunity to nominate and celebrate well-designed new build, housing, heritage and public realm projects in their local area, that they are proud of. The Civic Voice Design Awards were introduced in 2013 following a vote by Civic Voice members to demonstrate that civic societies and other community groups will accept new development when it responds positively to the local area.

The Shortlist for 2017 includes a housing development in a World Heritage Site, creative re-use of a set of historic underground tunnels and a treetop walkway. 18 schemes from across England have been shortlisted by the expert judging panel for their high-quality design and positive impact on the local community. The awards are sponsored by British Land and Farrells. Free places to the awards ceremony and masterclass are available for Civic Voice members.

This year the judges commented that six lessons are starting to come through from the Design Awards, that can be applied to almost any other project, no matter how big or small. Read more about the lessons here.

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Design Awards masterclass to share lessons of shortlisted schemes

Photograph: The venue for Civic Voice's Design Award Ceremony and Masterclass

The venue for Civic Voice's Design Award Ceremony and Masterclass

We announced our first ever Civic Voice Design Award masterclass last week and are delighted to say that it will take place in the Cheesegrater supported by Richard Rogers Partnership. Delegates who attend the masterclass will hear from speakers from a range of Civic Voice Design award shortlisted schemes. The purpose is to share the lessons of successful schemes.

It will be an opportunity to discuss and debate different approaches to public engagement and to hear why other Civic Voice members across the country have been submitting schemes for the awards.

The Civic Voice Design Award masterclass is free to Civic Voice members and £50 for non-members. You must register to attend here for security reasons.

The event will be chaired by Paul Bedwell, Civic Voice Trustee.

Civic Voice logo

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Ahead of ceremony Design Award judges highlight 6 key messages

Photograph: Civic Voice Design Award judges

Civic Voice Design Award judges

This year the judges commented that six lessons are coming through from the Design Awards shortlist that the judges believe can be applied to almost any other project, no matter how big or small.

Historic Environment is not a barrier to growth. From the shortlisted schemes, we have ten schemes in a Conservation Area and one in a World Heritage Site, showing that the historic environment is an asset, not a barrier, to growth and high quality new development can be successfully integrated within historic settings.

Partnership working between the public, private and voluntary sectors is key. It is clear from many past winners and this year's shortlist that working in partnership across sectors, can have a positive impact on the quality of the built environment in our towns, villages and cities.

Early collaborative engagement. Real positive examples of community groups being involved at an early stage in the process and influencing the final scheme are starting to emerge but we want see more and for this to become the Civic Voice standard across the country! Read Civic Voice guidance on collaborative planning here.

Leadership and mindset. Individuals in the public, private and voluntary sectors have been at the forefront of schemes, driving forward new ideas by asking, "How can we do this better?" or "What can we do as a community to tackle this problem?"

Paying for an architect, pays results. The judges felt that it was clear when an architect had been commissioned on housing developments and they were encouraged to see Crest Nicholson using Alison Brooks Architects to design a housing scheme in Bath, but questioned, why is this the exception and not the norm?

Finally, we are still not seeing large scale housing developments coming forward that communities are proud of and want to support. The judges wondered whether we ever will?

We will delve into each of these issues in the Civic Voice Design Awards masterclass and over the next few months as we organise study visits throughout the country.

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Civic Voice visit to the National Memorial Arboretum

Photograph: National Memorial Arboretum

National Memorial Arboretum

As part of the First World War Memorials Programme, we are arranging a one day event at the National Memorial Arboretum to recognise the work of civic volunteers during the commemoration.

We want to use this meeting to help commemorate the start of the Passchendaele commemoration and to recognise that it is three years since the programme began. We want to show that the First World War is engaging with new audiences. We also need to consider, once the First World War commemorations are finished, how we ensure people stay involved in the historic environment sector?

We want to stimulate a debate about how the country is commemorating the First World War; what the legacy from the commemorations will be, how that influences the issues facing the historic environment in the future and the role communities can play in that. Discussions will centre on how we can recruit a new frontline of volunteers to conserve the nation’s historic environment, 100 years on. The day will include a tour around the Arboretum and its new Remembrance Centre, which has been shortlisted for a Civic Voice Design Award 2017.

Register for the event here.

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Civic movement leading the way unveiling blue plaques

Photograph: Blue plaque in Leeds for Tolkien Photograph: Blue plaque in Malvern for George Sayer

Blue plaques in Leeds and Malvern with a common connection!

A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as a historical marker. The brainchild of British politician William Ewart in 1863, it is the oldest such scheme in the world.

With over 100 civic societies regularly erecting a plaque commemorating a famous person or event we asked civic societies to celebrate the 150th anniversary year of the launch of the scheme in the City of London.

Who was Thomas Hake? Where was the site of the original Deacon’s School? Which Olympic gold medal winner used to run a sports shop in the city? The answer to these and other questions have just been made clear thanks to the new Peterborough blue plaques that have just been installed in the city centre by Peterborough Civic Society.

Peterborough Civic Society’s motto is ‘Seeking the best for a fine city’ and, to this end, the Society, has over the past thirty years, erected a number of stainless steel plaques throughout the city commemorating people, places and events from the city’s history. However some of these plaques have become outdated, worn or are just in places that make them difficult to notice.

Two years ago the Society decided that Peterborough’s plaques needed a revamp. Toby Wood, the Society’s vice-chairman said, “As part of our wish to encourage people to have increased pride in the city, we wanted to develop something instantly recognisable. Other towns and cities have blue plaques and we felt that using this existing format would be perfect for Peterborough. Some of these new plaques will replace existing but others, for example the plaque on the Customs House, will be new.”

For the whole of the month of June there is a display of all of the plaques, their location as well as background material about the Society in the new exhibitions room in Peterborough Cathedral Visitor Centre.

Read more here.

Can you beat Peterborough's 20 blue plaques? Let us know at info@civicvoice.org.uk.

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Communities uniting to say "I care about where I live"

Photograph: Group holding cards saying 'I care about where I live' Photograph: Another group holding cards saying 'I care about where I live' Photograph: Two blokes holding cards saying I care about where I live'

Whether you are attending an event or not, Civic Day is for everyone to get involved. We encourage communities and individuals across the country to share pictures of themselves and colleagues holding our "I care about where I live sign". We said that everyone who prints the image attached : http://civicvoice.org.uk/resources/i-care-about-where-i-live … and sends a picture into Civic Voice (info@civicvoice.org.uk) will be in with a chance of winning a copy of The History of the Civic Movement!

The publication is available to purchase here.

We look forward to seeing all of your images celebrating Civic Day 2017. The winning image will be selected by Civic Voice on 1st July.

Civic Voice logo

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Civic Day 2018 - Saturday June 23rd 2018"

Photograph: Group holding banner saying 'I care about where I live'

Whether you are attending an event or not, Civic Day is for everyone to get involved. We encourage communities and individuals across the country to share pictures of themselves and colleagues holding our "I care about where I live sign". We said that everyone who prints the image attached : http://civicvoice.org.uk/resources/i-care-about-where-i-live … and sends a picture into Civic Voice (info@civicvoice.org.uk) will be in with a chance of winning a copy of The History of the Civic Movement!

The publication is available to purchase here.

We look forward to seeing all of your images celebrating Civic Day 2017. The winning image will be selected by Civic Voice on 1st July.

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Membership News


This section of civic update aims to give you a snap shot of what our members are doing locally to promote civic pride in their area. If you are a member of Civic Voice and are proud of what you have done this week, email your story to ben.murray@civicvoice.org.uk.

Join the movement!

 


Civic Society representatives from across the Yorkshire and Humber facing the future together

YHACS Logo

Civic Society representatives from across the Yorkshire and Humber region came together at the office of Wakefield Civic Society on Friday, 23rd June to take part in the first YHACS Futures Workshop. YHACS (the Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies) is trying to encourage members to face up to the challenges of the future both in terms of what is happening in society at large but also in terms of how to keep their civic societies relevant and viable for the longer term.

Ian Harvey, attending as a representative of Civic Voice, said that he had found the workshop invaluable and was delighted to see that civic societies were considering what the future may hold for them and the role they can play.

Read more here.

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Heritage Lottery Grant Success for the Friends of Abingdon Civic Society

Civic Voice's Ian Harvey recently spoke at the AGM of the The Friends of Abingdon Civic Society who announced at the meeting that they have won support of £68,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to commence planning the enhancement of the remains of the great Abbey of Abingdon. This has been made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.

This grant enables the Friends to undertake a feasibility study to enhance the important Abbey Buildings which are a Scheduled Monument and Grade 1 listed. They are at the core of the town’s history and are significant not only to Abingdon-on-Thames but to the county and nationally.

Bryan Brown, Chairman of The Friends said, ‘We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has recognised the importance of the Abbey Buildings to the Abingdon community and are helping us to plan for their enhancement and make them secure for a generation or more’.

Read more here.

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Next Midlands regional meeting heading to Worcester!

Picture: Phil Douce, Chair of Worcester Civic Society looking forward to welcoming West Midlands groups to Worcester

Phil Douce, Chair of Worcester Civic Society looking forward to welcoming West Midlands groups to Worcester

The next West Midlands regional gathering will be taking place in Worcester on Saturday 29th July in association with Worcester Civic Society. As usual, the local civic society will be arranging guided walks on the Saturday morning for anyone wishing to spend more time in the town.

The event will see groups from across the region discuss Civic Day and the future of the civic society movement - What steps can we take, for example, to recruit and retain members and so on, to ensure that our civic societies are sustainable and have a secure future. We are sure they’d be particularly interested to hear from any of Civic Voice member societies across England who can provide examples of recruiting members. We were particularly pleased that York Civic Trust managed to recruit 60 new members at an event!

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Bradford Civic Society to ask .... "What will Bradford City Centre look like in ten years from now?"

What will Bradford City Centre look like in ten years from now? Can the top of town be transformed? Will Bradford become a major railway hub once again?

In a city well used to grandiose masterplans and artists' impressions, we'll be hearing about the actual projects in the pipeline from the team of city planners working on them.

Find out how our Landscape, Design and Conservation team are planning to transform long-forgotten streets at the top of town and improve the public realm around North Parade; plus see a first glimpse of the plans to create a new improved Interchange station, with a gateway city entrance on Hall Ings.

Learn more and sign up to the event here.

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Photograph: Group of conservationists

Regional War Memorials workshops

Photograph: Group holding 'save our memorials' banner

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Photograph: Trustees

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War Memorials News

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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 info@civicvoice.org.uk.

Does your civic society want a visit from the chair 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 info@civicvoice.org.uk with your request.

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