Announcement of Winners
Christine Russell presenting the Chairman’s Special Award to winners,
Ian Smith and Chas Kelsey representing Watkin Jones.
This year has seen the 10th edition of our New Year Honours Awards, also known as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Through these awards, nominations for which are submitted by our members, we aim to recognise the best of the changes to the local environment in the preceding year and also to draw attention to areas that fall short of the standards which Chester deserves. “The Civic Trust is passionate about insuring that the progress in the City is based on high quality design and that high standards of maintenance are achieved” said Christine Russell, Chairman of the Trust. “It is pleasing that this year we have again received far more awards in the good category than in both of the others put together”.
A presentation lunch was held at Bishop Lloyd’s Palace, the Civic Trust’s head quarters, on 12 February at which the winners were announced. The Chairman’s Special Award this year went to the Tramway Student Village development off City Road. The judges were impressed with the high standard of design and attention to detail in the development. The Trust has been critical of a number of proposals for student housing in the City and the judges felt this scheme should be recognised as an example of what can be achieved as regards student housing with good design. Other awards went to the restoration of the City Baths, the Waitrose development in Boughton, the Grosvenor Park open air theatre (for its cultural impact) and to the restoration of the Eastgate Clock.
There were also a number of schemes which the judges regarded as worthy of commendation namely the pocket park next to the canal by King Charles’ Tower, the Cheshire Ice-cream Farm outdoor play area, the “Hoots Route” (Chester unlocked) project and the building at number 30 Frodsham Street.
The judges were less impressed with the poor design of the TK-Max shop front in the Grosvenor Precinct and with the signage of the Javed Restaurant and Takeaway on Lower Bridge Street, both of which were nominated in the “Bad” category. In the Ugly category the judges felt that attention should be drawn to the former Quick’s Garage on Lower Bridge Street, which continues to fall into disrepair and to the area at the rear of the former Thai Buffet on Newgate Street where litter has built up between the building and the City wall. It is hoped that by drawing attention to the Bad and the Ugly categories that improvements can be made in the coming year.