Marsh Award for Civic Societies

This Award, run in partnership with Civic Voice, recognises the outstanding contributions made by a civic society to the civic movement.

Civic societies play a vital role in voluntary and community action. The Award goes to a society which has made a great impact to the protection and regeneration of local places.

Nominations are shortlisted by the Civic Voice Chair, Trustees and Director before a decision is made by the MCT and announced at the October AGM.

Blackpool Civic Trust 2017

Blackpool Civic Trust engages in a wide variety of projects and activities. Following training from Civic Voice, they became the first group in the country to survey and register all the known War Memorials in the city, totalling over 220. Two years ago, the Trust embarked on a unique restoration project which was recognised by Blackpool Council, who presented the Trust with their annual award for the most outstanding conservation project. Blackpool Civic Trust have now developed their own annual awards in various categories, recognising the best new build in the city, renovations, achievements of community groups and environmental projects in schools. The Trust holds Monthly Meetings with a variety of speakers and their membership is steadily rising, having increased from 200 in 2013 to over 250 by their 2016 AGM.

Previous Winners

The Sheffield Civic Trust

Sheffield Civic Trust (SCT) is an active, growing volunteer organisation that strives to make Sheffield a better place to live, work and visit. This year, the Trust celebrated its 10th birthday.

SCT uses social media to engage with people both in and beyond the city. Its twitter account (@SheffCivicTrust) has 2,876 followers, making SCT the most followed civic trust or society in England. The SCT website includes a blog post of articles from trustees, friends and supporters and they also circulate an e-newsletter which goes out to 1,650 supporters every month.

In September 2016, a working party of Sheffield Civic Trust Trustees and supporters helped secure 86 participant buildings in the city for Heritage Open Days (HODs) 2016 and these buildings were visited by several thousand people. Sheffield HODs highlights included: synchronised bell ringing in churches across the city; a celebration of Sheffield’s Black history; a ‘Sheffield Home of Football’ oriented walk; a guided cycle ride that followed the route of a First World War Zeppelin bombing raid on the city that took place 100 years ago; a walking tour of Sheffield’s Modernist buildings; and the launch of three themed craft beers to celebrate HODs.

Retford Civic Society

Retford Civic Society have worked tirelessly to deliver over seventy community and heritage projects which have been completed and funded through a number of partnerships. They have brought together local councillors, property owners, voluntary organisations and individuals to improve the street scene and commemorate local heritage; created a freely distributed ‘Retford Town Heritage Guide’ and a ‘Heritage Guide for Young People’ and since 2008, have organised a Heritage Day with a wide range of activities celebrating Retford’s history.

Retford Civic Society provide a great deal of support to other local organisations, and hold a range of lively meetings and social activities. They also produce colourful and informative newsletters featuring contributions from their burgeoning membership, which has grown from 60 in 2008 to over 200 in 2013.

The Norwich Society

The Norwich Society is made up of dedicated individuals working to protect the heritage and architecture of Norwich. In 2012, the Society delivered a Local List of 135 buildings of local significance, following the work of volunteers who researched each area of Norwich over the course of four years. The Society produced a DVD of the Local List and copies of the list have appeared on the Norfolk Historic Environment Record, the Millennium Library and the Norfolk Record Office.

English Heritage has recognised this project as an example of excellent work with volunteers. Norwich City Council has added the buildings to their Local List and included this information into the Development Management Policies Plan, to help advise any further demolitions or re-developments.

Addingham Civic Society and the Ramsgate Society

Addingham Civic Society
Addingham Civic Society works to safeguard the quality of life of all those living in the village of Addingham.  The Society have created a Multi-Use Games Area for the local area, raising £125,000 to do so, which is used by everyone in the village, including local schools and sports clubs as well as individuals and families. The Society are solely responsible for the general management of the facility and is recruiting more and more volunteers to help run and manage the area.

The Ramsgate Society

The Ramsgate Society has been caring for Ramsgate’s architectural heritage and its people since 1964.  They have initiated and driven forward a highly successful project to restore 14 Edwardian seaside shelters which were in a dilapidated state and in danger of being lost. They raised over £54,000 themselves and partnered with other organisations to secure further funding in the sum of £450,000. They were granted a 24 year lease on all fourteen huts to prevent them falling into disrepair once again and they are now frequented by many members of the public, both young and old.

The Highgate Society

The Highgate Society aim to ‘make Highgate and its neighbourhood a better place to live and work, to ensure that any changes made in the environment enhance the amenity of the area, to encourage sound planning and to improve public transport.’

The Society have taken a lead in the development of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum and a recent meeting was attended by over 60 representatives of local organisations, residents’ associations, schools and businesses. A Village Improvement Group has also been developed which is working to agree improvements in the historic centre of the village.

Haringey Council recently invited the Society to carry out an appraisal of the Haringey Conservation Area, which is a huge piece of work, demanding vast amounts of time and a great attention to detail, all of which the Society has delivered on.

The Wimbledon Society

The Wimbledon Society was founded in 1903 and now has just over a thousand members. It runs a thriving local museum which is free to the public, as well as arranging public lectures, visits and producing many publications for the local area.

The Wimbledon Society Planning Committee funds the planting of street trees by the Council, works with the Council on the design of environmental works and parking schemes, has contributed to the production of a new Residents’ Plan and produces environment surveys of local streets and planning briefs for new developments, some of which are then adopted by the Council.

Recently, the Society has collaborated with the Council on the production of a Heritage Leaflet, covering the printing and production so that it can be freely available to the public. They also planted two major street trees near the Parish Council building as a contribution to Civic Day.