Reading Abbey Project Earmarked for National Design Award

Abbey Ruins
Abbey Ruins

THE READING ABBEY REVEALED Project has been shortlisted for one of Europe’s most important and prestigious awards.

Reading Borough Council’s Reading Abbey Revealed was named as a successful 2020 National Civic Trust AABC Conservation Awards project in December 2019. The project was shortlisted as a South East Regional Finalist in November 2019.

The project was selected as one of only 8 successful National/International projects from 50 applications and will receive either an award or be highly commended at the 61st Annual Civic Trust Awards Ceremony, held on Friday 6th March 2020, at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester.

The Civic Trust Awards encourage and recognise the very best in architecture through promoting sustainability and inclusiveness throughout the built environment, and rewarding projects that offer positive social and economic benefits to their local communities. It is also Europe’s longest running architectural and built environment awards programme.

Cllr Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning & Transport, said: “I’m delighted by this well-deserved recognition for the Reading Abbey Project. In the Abbey Quarter, Reading boasts a site of national significance which has now been preserved for future generations to appreciate. This award recognises the strategic leadership provided by Reading Borough Council around the project which would again be deployed to ensure that the future uses within the former Reading Prison complement and enhance the wider Abbey Quarter. I’m looking forward to hearing the full results at the awards ceremony in March!”

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “The Abbey Revealed Project is an excellent example of an ambitious vision for heritage and culture made reality. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all those involved in making this award winning project a success! Fingers crossed for the announcement at the Annual Civic Trust Awards Ceremony in March. We are also getting very excited for the build up to 2021, which marks the 900th anniversary of the foundation of Reading Abbey.”

For more information on the awards, visit: www.civictrustawards.org.uk 

The Abbey Quarter in central Reading brings together nationally important heritage within the former grounds of Reading Abbey, once one of Europe’s largest royal monasteries.  The conservation of the Grade I listed, scheduled Abbey Ruins and Abbey Gateway were central to Reading Council’s vision to transform the Abbey Quarter into a unique historical destination.

Reading Abbey Revealed is a major project, made possible through £1.77 million funding support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and match funding of £1.38million from Reading Borough Council. The Abbey Gateway completed in April 2018 and the Abbey ruins re-opened to the public on 16th June 2018.

2021 marks the 900th anniversary of the foundation of Reading Abbey by King Henry I in 1121. To celebrate the anniversary, Reading Council has ambitions to work with local partners and the community to develop an exciting mix of arts, culture and heritage events across the town. To find out more or to get involved visit: www.readingabbeyquarter.org.uk/visit/2021-900th-abbey-anniversary

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About the Civic Trust

The Civic Trust Awards scheme was established in 1959 to recognise outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment.

As the longest standing built environment awards scheme in Europe, since 1959, more than 7000 projects have been rewarded and the scheme has continued in its objective to recognise projects that have made a positive contribution to the local communities they serve.

The Civic Trust Awards is one of the only remaining independent built environment awards schemes, not linked to any organisation, institution or publication and operates on a not-for-profit basis.

The aim of the Civic Trust Awards is to encourage the very best in architecture and environmental design, to improve the built environment for us all through design, sustainability, inclusiveness and accessibility, but also to reward projects that offer a positive cultural, social, economic or environmental benefit to their local communities. www.civictrustawards.org.uk

Reading Abbey Revealed

The Abbey Quarter in central Reading brings together nationally important heritage within the former grounds of Reading Abbey, once one of Europe’s largest royal monasteries.  The conservation of the Grade I listed, scheduled Abbey Ruins and Abbey Gateway were central to Reading Council’s vision to transform the Abbey Quarter into a unique historical destination.

Reading Abbey Revealed is a major project, made possible through £1.77 million funding support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and match funding of £1.38million from Reading Borough Council.

Reading Council appointed CRL Restoration as the main contractor responsible for implementing the conservation side of the Reading Abbey Revealed project in January 2017.

The ambitious scope of the project has conserved the remains of Reading Abbey and the Abbey Gateway, and has provided opportunities through events, volunteering and education. Site-wide interpretation of the Abbey Quarter has included the opening of the new Abbey gallery at Reading Museum and installing new information points across the town. The accompanying activity programme will continue until the end of 2020.

The Abbey Gateway completed in April 2018 and the Abbey ruins re-opened to the public on 16th June 2018.

Find out more by visiting the Abbey Quarter’s website

www.readingabbeyquarter.org.uk 
Facebook Page www.facebook.com/ReadingAbbeyQuarter   or by following them on twitter @RdgAbbey

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.heritagefund.org.uk

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email victoria.nickless@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 3957