2016 Award Nominations
It was a very great pleasure to once again receive nominations for, and to visit examples of both restoration and new buildings that enrich our historic built environment. The beautiful buildings to which we have given awards and commendations this year are undoubtedly the heritage of our city’s future.
Yet again we remind readers that the Annual Awards Scheme would never get off the ground were it not for our enthusiastic Heritage Team. The timetable dictates that they have to spring into action and conduct detailed site visits at the coldest and wettest time of the year. This year snow threatened all day. The Society remains very much in their debt.
2016 Awards Ceremony
Our Guest of Honour making the awards on Friday 7th April 2017 will be Michaela Butter MBE, Director of the Attenborough Arts Centre, whose new gallery won the New Build Award last year.
Michaela will present the 2016 Awards, with a reception and dinner at the City Rooms, Hotel Street, Leicester. Full details are given on the enclosed handbill. Please see the bookings page to reserve your place at this prestigious event by Thursday 30th March. We look forward to greeting even more of you to this, the twelfth year of our awards.
Leicester Civic Society continues to say that encouraging and celebrating restoration and design excellence in historic Leicester is a noble cause and one in which it is proud to be taking the lead.
2016 Award Nomination Gallery
Restoration Award Category
Friars Mill, Bath Lane
The prestigious Restoration Award goes to Friars Mill, Bath Lane, a grade II listed building, whose remarkable restoration from ruin we consider to be a wonder of the age. This emblem of our city’s renewed pride was reported on in articles published in the last two editions of this journal. A tour inside the great roof timbers to see the new cupola and the famous golden ibex, as a skylight, was breath-taking.
Accommodation is being marketed as start-up units in the model of Makers Yard, Rutland Street that won the award in 2012, and is already 80% full. Friars Mill was the proud home of Donisthorpe Hosiery for over 140 years and splendidly restored features include the company’s war memorial on the wall facing the Bath Lane entrance.
New Build Award Category
De Montfort University Veejay Patel Building
By complete contrast the New Build Award goes to De Montfort University for the first time. The Veejay Patel Building is a huge development and a huge investment in a new home under one roof for the University’s Art and Design Faculty. It represents a considerable commitment by De Montfort to their own future and that of Leicester.
The building faces The Queens Building and Benjamin Russell Factory, both of which are on the new Local Interest List. It adjoins Castle Conservation Area. The adjudication panel was particularly struck by the open layout, which enables visitors to see student workshops and design studios. It is welcomed by the students themselves and must soon start to make a contribution to student retention in Leicester.
We want these highly qualified and gifted young people to stay in our city and power its new industries and businesses once they have completed their studies in such excellent modern surroundings.
12 to 16 Stoneygate Road
In 2016 it would have been extremely difficult for any other nominations to compete with the winners that have been described above. Fully recognising this your adjudication panel decided they were going to bend the rules and make an additional award for high quality restoration in a domestic context.
We were all bowled over by the work of Tippets and Brooks in the restoration of 12 to 16 Stoneygate Road, classic Stoneygate town houses by one of our finest 19th Century architects. The craftmanship and painstaking attention to detail were an absolute delight.
1873 Leicester Savings Bank
We made a very worthy commendation to Delilah Fine Foods for their rescue and restoration the 1873 Leicester Savings Bank by Edward Burgess. The bank building had been empty for nearly ten years and was suffering from cellar flooding, damp and dry rot that had already spread to the upper floor. Restoration was aided by a grant as part of the Greyfriars Townscape Heritage Initiative, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Delilah has created a really first class delicatessen in the ground floor banking hall and spacious apartments that include the Victorian Board Room on the floor above.