From time to time we pick up awards for our work. The Back to Backs project has already gained considerable recognition:
BURA Best Practice in Regeneration Award 2005
The British Urban Regeneration Association exists to promote best practice in urban regeneration, so the trust was delighted to receive this major national award for the Back to Backs.
The judges said : This has been an innovative and well thought out example of best practice, from the way a small local trust, with only one member of staff, has achieved successful partnership working with the National Trust, which in turn has been prepared to look beyond its more familiar spheres of activity to setting up an endowment to underpin the project’s long-term viability. The quality of work, in physical terms, in the interpretation material used and the genuine engagement with local people with experience of living in this type of dwelling, were also inspiring.
Europa Nostra Diploma
The European wide heritage Organisation Europa Nostra granted the Back to Backs a diploma in 2005 for being a project “that constitutes a microcosm of the history of Birmingham”.
Gulbenkian Prize for Museum of the Year Award 2006:
The National Trust entered the Back to Backs for this prestigious and lucrative prize and we’re delighted to say the Gulbenkian judges placed it on the long list of the top ten new museums.
The Georgian Group Architectural Awards
Court 15 was commended in the category for Restoration of a Georgian Building in an Urban Setting.
The Civic Trust Awards 2006
A commendation for the both the National Trust and BCT for the Back to Backs with the judges finding that: ” The project makes an outstanding contribution to the quality of the surrounding area and highlights the need to sensitively rescue parts of our heritage to strengthen the understanding of the ways cities and their populations emerge, grow and change.”
The Heritage in Britain Award: The Council for British Archaeology
This the most prestigious award in British Archaeology. Granted every two years, this was won by Birmingham Conservation Trust and The National Trust.
The judges said “The Birmingham Conservation Trust, aware that the last remaining courtyard of back-to-back houses in the city was under threat from structural collapse and redevelopment, decided to rescue this group of buildings and to conserve it. In this it was brilliantly successful. This was a remarkable piece of work for a small organisation. The study, recording, conservation and restoration of these buildings have been exemplary and the end-product is admirable”
The Forward Prize: Birmingham Civic Society
This is given each year: “ to a project that is both of benefit to the people of Birmingham and put into effect in a particularly well thought-through and designed manner.”
Built-in Quality Award, Best Refurbishment: Birmingham City Council
This is an award given to the main contractors William Sapcote & Sons for the quality of their work on the Back to Backs.
Royal Town Planning Institute Award
The Back to Backs received the national award for Planning in the Built Heritage and Overall Winner Award of the regional branch awards. The judges said: “The research has been thorough and the attention to detail meticulous. The co-operative working of many disciplines has produced a fine example of building and social conservation. ” You can read more of their report here.
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Awards
The Back to Backs was the regional winner for the prestigious RICS award for Building Conservation.
In October 2005 the project was also commended at the national awards, one of just three commendations from 14 entries.