New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings


From time to time we pick up awards for our work.

We are really proud of all the awards that our last major project, the Coffin Works, has received. They acknowledge all the hard work that the staff and volunteers at Birmingham Conservation Trust have put in to bring this important and remarkable slice of Birmingham’s history alive. See pre-conservation and transformation galleries and find out about the building preservation project HERE. 

Not only have we rescued a grade II* listed industrial heritage site, removing it from Historic England’s ‘Buildings at Risk’ Register, but we are conserving and sharing the wonderful and unique Newman Brothers collection through the museum.

Winner: Birmingham Civic Society Renaissance Award 2014

Birmingham Civic Society 2014 small

Winner: RICS West Midlands Best Conservation Project 2015

Winner: RICS West Midlands Best Tourism & Leisure Project 2015

photo 1 (3)

Our happy party (above) consisted of key players in our project team; from our contractors Fairhurst Ward Abbots, Rodney Melville & Partners, Qoda Consulting, Greenwoods and the BCT team. Two awards in one night!

Winner: Conservation in the Community ICON Award 2015

A fantastic film given to us by ICON, featuring Deb Magnoler, Sarah Hayes and Simon Buteux















Winner: Historic England Heritage Angel – The ‘People’s Choice’ Award 2015

heirtage angel

We feature centre stage (above), from Lorraine in the flowery dress (left) to Sarah dressed in white! It was great to know that the public was behind us and voted us their ‘favourite’ Heritage Angel project.

Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor 2015

certificate of excellence

Also, we were shortlisted for the following awards:

Our latest award and  Our video documenting what it means to them is coming very soon!

Winner: Museums + Heritage Award for Customer Service 2016
The first award of 2016 was a Museums + Heritage Award for Customer Service, and it’s dedicated to our volunteers. This video documents what it means to them!













Winner: West Midlands Volunteer Awards – Young People Award 2016
Given to an individual who has brought New Ideas and energy, this award was won by Adam Sutcliffe-Brown for developing the Relaxed Tours with fellow volunteer Suzanne Carter for visitors on the Autistic spectrum.

Winner: West Midlands Volunteer Awards – Outstanding Award for Excellence 2016
Overall winner from all eight categories was also won by the amazing Adam Sutcliffe-Brown!

Left: Sarah Falkland Centre: Adam Sutcliffe-Brown of Newman Brothers at Coffin Works. Birmingham (winner) Right: Barrie Williams, Chairman IGMT (judge)

The Back to Backs project also 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.