The IHBC is delighted to offer its warmest congratulations to the winners of prestigious Europa Nostra awards, as the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), North of England Civic Trust’s ‘Heritage Skills Initiative’ (HSI), the Young Archaeologists Club (YAC), Stonehenge visitor centre and the Princes Regeneration Trust’s Middleport Pottery (following up on its success at the recent Placemaking Awards) all scooped some of the most prominent of these prestigious awards for the UK.
Europa Nostra writes:
The European Commission and Europa Nostra have revealed today the winners of the 2015 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards, considered Europe’s most prestigious prize in the heritage field. The 28 award winners, selected from 263 applications submitted by organisations and individuals from 29 countries, are honoured for outstanding achievements in four categories: 1) conservation, 2) research and digitization, 3) dedicated service to heritage, and 4) education, training and awareness-raising.
The European Heritage Awards Ceremony will take place on 11 June at the Oslo City Hall and will be co-hosted by Fabian Stang, Mayor of Oslo, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Plácido Domingo, the renowned opera singer and President of Europa Nostra. At the ceremony, seven of the selected winners will be named as Grand Prix laureates, receiving €10,000 each, and one will receive the Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll conducted by Europa Nostra.
‘Cultural heritage is one of Europe’s biggest assets. It brings countless cultural, economic, social and environmental benefits to all of us. I would like to congratulate the winners of the 2015 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, who are the perfect example of what dedicated and competent Europeans can do for heritage – but also for our European identity, contributing to a sense of belonging. We all need to keep working together to help communities and citizens take ownership of our heritage, make it part of our daily lives and preserve it for the generations to come,’ said Commissioner Navracsics.
‘This year’s winners are powerful examples of creativity and innovation at work for Europe’s cultural heritage. They also demonstrate that heritage matters to Europe and its citizens. We trust that, under the leadership of President Juncker and Commissioner Navracsics, the European Union’s strategy for an integrated approach to cultural heritage will be further developed and implemented,’ added Plácido Domingo.
The Churches Conservation Trust writes:
The Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity saving historic churches at risk, has been recognised by the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, it has been announced today.
First established in 1969, The Churches Conservation Trust charity took over care of St Peter’s Church in Edlington, South Yorkshire in May 1971, and since then it has saved a collection of 347 listed church buildings, which attract almost two million visitors a year. Last year, the charity unveiled its most ambitious project yet, the £4.3m regeneration of All Souls Bolton, creating a 21st century community facility within a Grade II* listed Victorian church.
Considered Europe’s most prestigious prize in the heritage field, the 2015 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards recognises 28 winners across 29 countries, including five winners in the UK. The other UK winners are Stonehenge in Wiltshire, Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, The North of England Civic Trust’s Heritage Skills Initiative and York’s Young Archaeologists’ Club.
The award to the Churches Conservation Trust is in the category of Dedicated Service by Individuals or Organisations, and recognises contributions over a long period of time that demonstrate excellence in the protection, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in Europe, far exceeding normal expectations in the given context. At an awards ceremony in Oslo in June seven winners will be named as Grand Prix laureates, receiving €10,000 each, and one will receive a Public Choice Award, chosen by online poll.
Crispin Truman, Chief Executive of The Churches Conservation Trust said: ‘The Churches Conservation Trust has been working for more than forty five years to save churches at risk across England. The past year has been one of the most important in our history, and I am delighted that Europa Nostra has our work.
‘Our expert team is setting the agenda in protecting our religious and architectural heritage, responding to funding challenges by not only finding new ways to support the conservation of our unique church buildings, but also via innovative new projects such as our flagship community building at All Souls Bolton. I look forward to the awards ceremony in June and hope we can continue to build on our success.’
A spokesperson for Europa Nostra said: ‘The Jury admired particularly the Churches Conservation Trust’s early recognition of the importance of safeguarding the religious and architectural significance of historic places of worship and their essential function as centres of community life…The Jury also appreciated the highly significant role the Trust has played in the foundation of the Future of Religious Heritage Network, where its proven model of sustainability will be pivotal for the preservation across Europe of religious heritage buildings and their interiors.’