Best examples of architectural design in Grantham have been recognised by the Grantham Civic Society.
The society launched its Townscape Awards earlier this year, a scheme which runs every three years and aims to showcase fine buildings and schemes that help make the town a great place to live and visit.
Following a judging process, winners and runners-up were invited to a presentation at the Mayor’s Parlour on Saturday.
But before winners were announced, two special awards – engraved glass apples – were presented to craftsmen behind two prominent pieces of art in the town. The first was presented to stonemason Derren Rose for his work on the Queen Eleanor plaque on the Guildhall. The second was presented to Nigel Sardeson, who carved the Isaac’s Apple sculpture in Wyndham Park.
Guests then heard from Grantham Civic Society member John Manterfield, who talked about each of the two environmental projects up for the award. They were the splash pool at Wyndham Park and the adventure playground at Belton House.
Mr Manterfield called them both “first-class examples” and added: “Both of these projects have been very successful if you look at the number of families and children that have used them.”
The winner of the environmental project category was the adventure playground at Belton House, which guests heard attracted 449,000 for the 12 months up to February, 250,000 of which went through the playground.
Speaking afterwards, Belton House general manager Alec Gordon said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win the award.
“The playground is coming up to its 40th anniversary so we are proud to continue the tradition that the Brownlows started at Belton.”
The civic society’s Graham Cook introduced the next category – restoration projects.
Three projects were considered, the first being Stonebridge House. Mr Cook said: “I was fascinated to find how much of the old building is still there. The cellars are fascinating to go around and a lot of the elements are still there.”
The second project assessed was ChristChurch, in Finkin Street, which is part way through an extensive refurbishment programme. This includes the front of the building which has been carefully restored and an access ramp put in.
Mr Cook said: “They have spent a lot of time and effort on upgrading services there and they’ve done it with great care, expending enormous care on the building itself.”
The Tap & Tonic and Market View restaurant, in Market Place, was the third and final nominee, going on to win the award. Mr Cook described the restoration of the previously unused part of the building as “extraordinary”, adding: “They went to great trouble to retain original features where possible and used high quality materials throughout.”
Paul and Karen Adams accepted the award, and later told the Journal: “We’re absolutely delighted.”
Mr Adams added: “When we were listening to the other projects we thought we wouldn’t win because it’s obviously on a much smaller scale, but it’s a more personal achievement in a sense and with a lot more personal input.”
Five contenders were up for the new build project award, and they were Vine Street Surgery, Spire View, the St Barnabas Hospice unit in Grantham Hospital, Martin Court retirement flats in St Catherine’s Road and the Little Gonerby Infant School extension.
Winner was the surgery, which was praised by civic society member Ruth Crook. She told how an ancient mulberry tree had been carefully protected and how the extension was carefully designed to ensure it was not visually intrusive.
Dr David Baker and healthcare support worker Jayne Shaw accepted the plaque on behalf of the surgery. Dr Baker said he was “really pleased” to have won following a three-year planning and build process, while Ms Shaw commented on how the mulberry tree is now a “showpiece” at the surgery.
The other four nominees were highly commended. Martin Court was praised for offering a “high standard of accommodation” while the infant school extension was described as “beautifully done”. The design of Spire View, a development of three properties in Swinegate, was praised as fitting in with the “fabric of Grantham” and for taking advantage of the views of St Wulfram’s Church spire. Meanwhile, judges were “blown away” by the atmosphere created in the hospice unit in the hospital.
Winners were presented with plaques while the highly commended projects received certificates, by Mayor of Grantham Mike Cook.