22 October 2018
Swindon Railway Village named as England’s Favourite Conservation Area 2018
Swindon Railway Village named as England’s Favourite Conservation Area for 2018
The top 3 were (1) Swindon Railway Village Conservation Area, (2) Port Sunlight Conservation Area and (3) Lichfield City Centre
Civic Voice – the national authoritative voice for the civic and conservation movement – declared Swindon Railway Village Conservation Area as the nation’s Favourite Conservation Area at an awards event on Friday 20th October 2018.
Laura Sandys, Vice-president of Civic Voice said; “Swindon Railway village was built shortly after the Great Western Railway works established in 1841 to house the workers and their families. Those people didn’t just build a railway, but a community.”
Swindon Railway Village beat off a challenge from 17 other conservation areas shortlisted. Images featuring the winners and all shortlisted entrants can be found here.
Joan Humble, Chair of Civic Voice said: “When we decided to launch England’s Favourite Conservation Area, we wanted to use it to test the enthusiasm people have for the place where they live. To get people talking about why conservation areas matter. What it has turned out to be is something truly amazing. It has surpassed all our expectations at Civic Voice. We received 249 entries from across the country and from announcing the shortlist to announcing the winner, we received just under 16,000 votes in 14 days. People do care about where they live. I look forward to visiting each of the winners at some point soon with Civic Voice.”
Swindon Railway Village managed to beat Port Sunlight conservation area, another example of a model industrial village in Merseyside and the Georgian city centre in Lichfield, which came second and third.
Ian Harvey, Executive Director of Civic Voice said; “512 conservation areas are at risk across England and we cannot get away from the fact that with decreasing numbers of conservation staff, the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better. We want England’s Favourite Conservation Area to showcase the positive and importance of the historic environment”.
Laura Sandys finished by saying; “We know that dozens of conservation areas will be celebrating 50th anniversaries in the next few years, so our plan is to run this again. This could be our alternative to Britain in Bloom? This could be something that towns and villages inspire to win and use it as a focus to make the case for the historic environment. Communities should be making the case with conservation officers to apply in 2019. I applaud all the 18 shortlisted area for participating in award to make this civic idea come to life. I look forward to seeing what is nominated in 2019.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
• Civic Voice is the authoritative voice of the civic movement and represents 75,000 individual members affiliated to 275 civic groups across England. More information at http://www.civicvoice.org.uk
• The vote was part of The Big Conservation Conversation by Civic Voice to raise awareness about areas of historic interest and encourage communities to celebrate and protect those at risk.
• To find out more about the railway village visit the Swindon Civic Voice website at swindoncivicvoice.co.uk.
The final vote for the full shortlist, including number of votes casr is:
1. Swindon GWR Railway Village Conservation Area (Number of votes) (3459)
2. Port Sunlight Conservation Area (2313)
3. Lichfield City Centre Conservation Area (2008)
4. Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area (1395)
5. Stamford Conservation Area (1218)
6. Elsecar Conservation Area (841)
7. Richmond (North Yorkshire) (833)
8. Tiverton Conservation Area (665)
9. Brentham Garden Suburb (584)
10. Kasbah, Port of Grimsby Conservation Area (500)
11. Deal – Middle Street Conservation Area (484)
12. Chester Canal Conservation Area (326)
13. Cockermouth Conservation Area (231)
14. Winsham Conservation Area (198)
15. Wolverton Milton Keynes (178)
16. Central Core Conservation Area (171)
17. Dalby Square Conservation Area (153)
18. Boston Town Centre Conservation Area (43)