CHESHIRE West and Chester Civic Awards for Design and Conservation have taken place, rewarding the best architectural projects in the last five years.
Over the years involvement and sponsorship has extended to include The Cheshire Society of Architects and The Chester Civic Trust.
This tradition has been carried on by Cheshire West and Chester Council, now with national recognition provided by the extra support and sponsorship of English Heritage.
Chester’s Lord Mayor Councillor Neil Ritchie, a retired architect, presented the awards.
He said: “Looking after our heritage and conservation areas is very important and there is no better way of doing this than having some fine examples of work to point to and the awards are a celebration of excellence in building patronage, design and construction.”
The awards coincide with the diamond jubilee celebrations of Chester Civic Trust, and in recognition the council's Heritage Champion Councillor Hilarie McNae presented a birthday cake to the trust.
A near-record number of 67 nominations were made by the public, architectural practices, owners and contractors.
Council design champion Cllr Mark Stocks said: “It was a great privilege to attend the awards ceremony to applaud the work carried by architects, owners and developers on different sites across the Borough and the way they have rejuvenated properties in such magnificent style.
“It was also particularly pleasing that schemes involving the council were also given worthy mentions.”
The judges were most impressed with the quality of the nominated schemes and were particularly pleased to see that they all came from all parts of Cheshire West and Cheshire.
The six winners were:
Community Category – St Mary's Church, Thornton le Moors – a 14th century church redundant church that was vested in The Churches Conservation Trust in 2009. The trust undertook extensive repairs at the church to conserve and safeguard it, and to create a community resource.
Cheshire West and Chester Council – for the external refurbishment and repair of Chester Town Hall where the judges applauded the high standards achieved in the masonry, slating, plumbing and smithing trades.
Residential/Commercial Refurbishment and New Build – The Gunnery Development, Tarvin – judges remarked how the extensive historic premises had been painstakingly restored to provide an exemplary mixed use residential, office and retail in the heart of the conservation area.
Residential Conversion and Conservation – 17th century brick barns at Leighton Hall, Neston – this was praised for its sensitive approach in the use of space, design detailing and high quality workmanship.
Residential New Build – contemporary extension at 16 Lache Lane within Chester’s Curzon Park Conservation Area – judges recognised a ‘wow’ factor achieved by careful detailing accompanied by extremely high standards of finish and construction.
Community New Build – the new All Saints Primary School in Saughall – judges observed the scheme provided a stimulating learning environment by using a mix of internal places complimented by equally successful external places.
Also highly commended were the Railway Station Gateway Transformation in Chester, the glass extension to The Red House in Chester’s Dee Banks Conservation Area, a new orangery to Lyndhurst, Childer Thornton and the reconstruction of the collapsed section of the City Walls by the council.