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Foyle Civic Trust claim UK Heritage Angel Award for Townscape Initiative

29 November 2018

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle has congratulated Derry’s Foyle Civic Trust who have been crowned the overall UK winner in the prestigious 2018 Heritage Angel Awards. 

The award relates to the Trust’s involvement in the delivery of the Walled City Partnership’s Townscape Heritage Initiative regeneration project which focussed on the restoration of heritage buildings within the City Centre.

The prestigious title was awarded to the Foyle Civic Trust on Tuesday night from the Heritage Angel founder, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber at a ceremony in the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London.

The project was chosen from twenty finalists from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after previously winning the NI regional heat in terms of Best Major Regeneration of a Historic Building or Place for projects in excess of £2million category. 

Formed in 2002, The Walled City Partnership is made up of the Foyle Civic Trust, Derry City and Strabane District Council and City Centre Initiative and has been successful in securing core grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Townscape Heritage Initiative’ (THI) to deliver a heritage-led regeneration project within Derry’s historic Walled City Conservation Area.

The Partnership have successfully regenerated 30 buildings during the period 2002-18 in key streets including Waterloo Street, Shipquay Street, Castle Street, Magazine Street and Waterloo Place.  The THI scheme has helped to secure funding from a range of public and private sources with a total of over £10m being invested in its regeneration programme. 

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, sent warm congratulations and stated: “On behalf of Derry City and Strabane District Council, I would like to send my warmest congratulations to the Foyle Civic Trust and everyone involved in the delivery of the Walled City Townscape Heritage Initiative for this most prestigious award. 

“We were proud to have hosted the Northern Ireland regional awards ceremony at the Guildhall earlier this month to recognise and acknowledge the selfless contribution of the many groups and individuals who promote and celebrate our built heritage.

“As a Council we are proud to be associated with the Foyle Civic Trust and the other partners who make up the Walled City Partnership from its inception, in providing financial and other support in the delivery of their very important regeneration programme in Derry City Centre.  The results of their regeneration activities is clear for all to see, it has helped regenerate our historic city centre and preserve its character for future generations.”

Karen Phillips, Director of Environment and Regeneration at Derry City and Strabane District Council, added her congratulations to the Foyle Civic Trust: “The Walled City Townscape Heritage Initiative has played a crucial role in the repair, restoration and regeneration of historic properties within and around the Historic City Conservation Area. 

“This regeneration programme has demonstrated effective partnership working and I look forward to our continued relationship with the Foyle Civic Trust and other partners in developing future area-based heritage based regeneration initiatives”. 

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber singled out the initiative for particular praise at the ceremony: “I am especially pleased that we have tonight crowned the Foyle Civic Trust, part of the Walled City Partnership in Derry, Londonderry as the first overall UK winner,” he said.

“This project benefits the local community and shows how individuals, volunteer groups and local councils can work together to regenerate our heritage.

“I wrote a musical called ‘The Beautiful Game’ about the needless violence in Northern Ireland and what this project has done in Derry struck a chord with me, as I think it did with all the judges.’

Dr David Johnston, Chair, Ulster Architectural Heritage added: ‘It has been a huge pleasure to work with the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to bring the Heritage Angel Awards to Northern Ireland.

“Over the past two years Ulster Architectural Heritage has been overwhelmed by the volume and quality of applications received from across the country.

“I am particularly delighted that one of our regional winners, Foyle Civic Trust, and the Walled City Townscape Heritage Initiative has now been crowned the UK winner.”