Cockermouth Shopfront Scheme shortlisted for national Civic Trust award

Press Release – January 2011

Cockermouth Shopfront Scheme shortlisted for national Civic Trust award

The Cockermouth Shopfront Heritage Grant Scheme has been shortlisted for a 2012 Civic Trust award. Established in 1959, the Civic Trust award scheme recognises the very best in architecture, urban design, planning, landscape, public realm and public art. Shortlisted projects are adjudged to have made an outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment, whilst offering a positive social, cultural, environmental or economic benefit to the local community. The Cockermouth scheme is one of 52 shortlisted projects from over 300 national and international entries.

In the aftermath of the 2009 floods Allerdale Borough Council made grant funding available to owners of flooded shops within the historic core of Cockermouth to help cover the costs of replacing modern shopfronts with ones more in-keeping with Cockermouth’s heritage. Delivered in partnership with Cockermouth and District Civic Trust, Cockermouth Town Council, Cockermouth Chamber of Trade, the National Trust and local architects Day Cummins, Green Design Group and Red Raven Design, the scheme has proven extremely popular with improvement works having been completed to 24 properties to date.

Phil Campbell, Chairman of Cockermouth & District Civic Trust, welcomed the news: “To be shortlisted for the Civic Trust Awards, a competition that attracts international entries, is high praise and recognition of the achievements Cockermouth has made since the floods.

This, the second award for the shopfront heritage scheme, reaffirms our belief that high quality, thoughtful architecture is fundamental to a town’s survival and is appreciated by visitors and residents alike. We hope that reaching the shortlist for this prestigious award will encourage more shops and building owners to recognise the benefits that good design can deliver.”

Cllr. Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council’s Portfolio-Holder for Regeneration, added: “Credit for this award, and the success of the scheme as a whole, must be given to those local businesses in Cockermouth who embraced the vision of the steering-group and invested in their shopfronts and signage. The improvements brought about by the scheme are clear evidence of what can be achieved when public and voluntary sector groups and private businesses work well together. To be shortlisted for a Civic Trust Award is great news and highlights how far Cockermouth has come since November 2009.”

Speaking with regard to the judging process Malcolm Hankey, Civic Trust Awards Managing Director, said: “All domestic projects are visited and assessed on their architectural excellence, sustainability credentials, accessibility for all users and positive civic contribution. Once again, the judging process has been rigorous and all the finalists thoroughly deserve their success.

A spokesperson for Cockermouth Town Council confirmed that they hoped to build on the success of the shopfront scheme: “The level of take-up for the scheme has exceeded expectations and is a clear indication of the local desire to preserve and enhance the town’s built heritage. The Town Council is hoping to build on this excellent work by introducing a Neighbourhood Development Order, under the provisions of the Localism Act, which will seek to encourage and facilitate the installation of traditional

shop fronts within the town.”

The award shortlisting follows a joint entry from Allerdale Borough Council, Cockermouth Town Council and Cockermouth and District Civic Trust. All shortlisted projects receive a commendation with winners being announced at a ceremony to be held in Edinburgh on 2 March 2012.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information contact Joe Broomfield on 01900 702568 or joe.broomfield@allerdale.gov.uk . Before and after photos of properties that participated in the shopfront scheme are available.

The Cockermouth Shopfront Heritage Grant Scheme won a Georgian Group Architectural Award in November 2011 in the category of ‘Restoration of a Georgian Building in an Urban Setting’.