Civic Voice comes to All Souls Bolton

08 Feb 2017

Photo: Unveiling of Civic Voice design award plaque, left to right, Inayat Omarji (formerly, All Souls Bolton), Mark Head (All Souls Bolton), Joan Humble (Civic Voice), Peter Aiers (CCT), Sophia de Sousa (The Glass-House Community Led Design), Amy Rothwell (All Souls Bolton) (c) Civic Voice

On 27 January, All Souls Bolton was delighted to host delegates from Civic Voice, the national charity promoting civic pride, for their first Design Awards Tour of 2017. As ‘Restoration’ category winner in 2015, All Souls was showcased as an exemplary community-led regeneration project.  

Formal presentations included a general overview of The Churches Conservation Trust’s involvement by Peter Aiers, The CCT’s Regional Director of the North and South East, and the community perspective from Inayat Omarji, former chair of All Souls Bolton. As well as providing insights into the particular design and funding challenges, the presentations conveyed the importance of community engagement and partnership-working in delivering these complex projects.

Joan Humble, Civic Voice chair, said, “All Souls is a fantastic example of how communities can come together to create something really special that is treasured by all.”

A Civic Voice plaque was then unveiled in the entrance to All Souls, before guests were taken on a tour of the building, led by Amy Rothwell, All Souls Community and Heritage Officer, who explained how the space is used today.

In a workshop session, run by Sophia de Sousa of The Glass-House Community Led Design, delegates were invited to discuss their first impressions of All Souls and to explore how good design can benefit places and communities. This was the first time a Civic Voice tour has involved this workshop element, and everyone agreed it worked well to engage delegates more directly in considering the requirements for successful community-led projects.

Peter Aiers said, “It was wonderful to have All Souls Bolton and its achievements celebrated in this way”.

Photo: study group workshop ‘Unlocking potential through design’ (c) Civic Voice