AN organisation dedicated to promoting high standards of architecture in Kidderminster is looking to mark its 20th anniversary with a celebration of the town’s finest features.
Members of Kidderminster Civic Society want residents to help them come up with a list of features which have made significant contributions to the townscape in the last 10 years.
The public is invited to nominate buildings or other“architectural concepts” that have had a positive impact.
The competition is a follow-up to the one the society held to mark its 10th anniversary in 2003 which saw the iconic Art Deco, part-Victorian, Elgar House/ Campion House in Green Street triumph with a highly-acclaimed conversion into a modern office complex.
This year’s entries will be judged by applying the society’s aims to promote high standards in planning and architecture; to promote education in geography, history and natural history; and to preserve, develop and improve features of historic or public interest.
Chairman Nick Hughes said: “We were delighted with the response 10 years ago and the buildings we originally had in mind then were not the ones that went on to win. It really was a case of Shuttle readers influencing the judges’ decision.
“The town centre is very different to 10 years ago when there was no Weavers Wharf, Morrisons (Safeway) was in its old store, and the college was moving from its old site.
“Although at an initial glance, Kidderminster may not look as if it has lots of architectural ‘gems’ we have been very impressed with some – by no means all – of the buildings that have been constructed over the last 10 years.
“But we are also emphasising that we don’t want people to just think about buildings or just the town centre. Other features such as tourist attractions, events that promote the town and its heritage, parks and other green spaces are all eligible for consideration.”
He added: “By making this award we want to encourage builders and developers in the town to think imaginatively and build to the highest possible standards.
“This can involve modern designs and concepts and also sympathetic treatment to existing buildings, especially those that have formed an important part of Kidderminster’s heritage where renovation is the answer rather than demolition.”
The winner will receive a certificate at the society’s annual meeting at the end of April. The panel of independent judges will be former MP Dr Richard Taylor, Bewdley historian and author Heather Flack and Shuttle editor Clive Joyce.
All those nominating the winning entry will go into a draw to win a signed copy of A History of Kidderminster by Wyre Forest author Nigel Gilbert. Closing date for entries is February 28 and nominations should be sent to chairman Nick Hughes at Painters Solicitors, 29 Church Street, Kidderminster or to Civic Society Competition, The Shuttle, 6 Tower Buildings, Blackwell Street, Kidderminster DY10 2DY.