Visionaries are honoured

The Velvet Coaster team picks up its award from Jimmy Armfield and Joan Humble (both centre) at the Blackpool Civic Trust awards ceremony February 2016
The Velvet Coaster team picks up its award from Jimmy Armfield and Joan Humble (both centre) at the Blackpool Civic Trust awards ceremony February 2016
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Fine architecture, vision and sheer hard work were celebrated when Blackpool Civic Trust handed out its annual awards.

The organisation, which helps set the standards for new development while safeguarding the resort’s rich heritage, recognised outstanding projects from 2015 in 11 different categories.

The Amaro restaurant team picks up its award at the Blackpool Civic Trust awards ceremony

The Amaro restaurant team picks up its award at the Blackpool Civic Trust awards ceremony

Awards were handed out at a ceremony and dinner held at the Paradise Room at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with nearly 180 guests in attendance including the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool Coun Peter Callow and Coun Maxine Callow.

Joan Humble, chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, said: “Our awards show across Blackpool people are working hard to improve our community, and we see that in local groups like the Friends of Watson Road Park and the community group at Ibbison Court.

“We see it in new build, in spectacular new buildings such as at Blackpool and the Fylde College and in refurbished buildings.

“But we also pay tribute to those who are protecting our heritage, so we were very pleased to give an award to Blackpool heritage trams which had an excellent season last year which was their 130th year.

The Red Arrows Skyforce Ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The Red Arrows Skyforce Ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

“The evening was a very enjoyable way to celebrate individual achievement in Blackpool.

“I am pleased the Mayor Coun Peter Callow, and Mayoress, Coun Maxine Callow could join us, together with Gordon Marsden MP and other special guests including Jimmy Armfield and Dr Freddie Gick, chairman of the national charity Civic Voice. We were very pleased to see so much good environmental work being done in our schools, so much good design in new buildings and refurbishments, and so many efforts by community groups to support local people and improve opportunities in the town “

Bryan Lindop, from Blackpool Transport who runs the tram heritage service, said they were delighted at the recognition they had received.

He said: “It means a lot to our team because this is a real team effort. We have the support of both the drivers and conductors, both paid and voluntary, and a wonderful engineering staff who keep us on the road.

“Last year we had a wonderful season, and we have already had some very successful winter weekends this year, including on Friday night when we put on a heritage service and tram enthusiasts came from all over the country.”

Among the winners is the Velvet Coaster pub which opened on South Promenade last May. Owner Wetherspoons transformed the former Lucky Star Amusement Arcade.

The High Ropes adventure centre was recognised for creating an exciting new visitor attraction on vacant land alongside Blackpool Sports Centre at Stanley Park.

Other highlights include the Sky Force ride, based on the famous Red Arrows display team, which opened at the Pleasure Beach, while Italian restaurant Amaro has given a new lease of life to a former shop in St John’s Square.

Blackpool Civic Trust won an award for its work revealing the tilework of the former Turkish baths at the Imperial Hotel.

The full list of winners is:

Junior School Environmental Shield: St Nicholas C of E Primary School

Senior School Environmental Shield: Park Community Academy

Council Conservation Award: Blackpool Civic Trust and the Imperial Hotel

Best Community Group: Two winners: The Friends of Watson Road Park and Ibbison Court Centre Community Group

Best Open Space: The High Ropes Course, Stanley Park

Best Night Time Economy: The Velvet Coaster

Best Refurbishment: Winter Gardens Theatre Bar

Best New Build: Blackpool and the Fylde College Advanced Technology Centre

Best Shop Front: Amaro

Special Award: Blackpool Transport Services Heritage Trams

Best New Visitor Attraction: The Red Arrows Skyforce ride