At a glittering ceremony in the West End of London’s magnificent Palace Theatre last night, Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust received the ‘People’s Choice’ award for their new Visitor Centre – built by a team of dedicated professionals and ‘made to happen’ by strong and sustained community effort, the new facilities will secure the future of Clevedon Pier for generations to come. So “thank you” to all our supporters who voted for us – it really made a difference.

The Angel Awards were founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber and are co-funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. Since 2011  these annual awards have celebrated the efforts of local people who have saved historic buildings and places. The People’s Choice prize was awarded through a public vote from a list of twenty shortlisted projects.

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch summed up the purpose of the awards in an interview last week: “These awards celebrate the inspirational people who have worked so hard to preserve our nation’s heritage and who encourage others to get involved. Heritage tells us so much about the nation’s history and the Angel Awards recognises the fantastic projects that ensure it can be seen and understood by people for many years to come.”

In his opening address last night, Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I would like to congratulate everyone who has been shortlisted for an Angel Award for their dedication to saving England’s historic buildings and places – often working on their own initiative, without outside help or funding. These awards shine the spotlight on their brilliant and inspirational work.”

The award was accepted on behalf of Clevedon Pier’s team of dedicated volunteers and professionals by Simon Talbot-Ponsonby, Chairman of the Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust and the Trust’s Business Manager, Nicole Laken. Simon said: “We’re so lucky at Clevedon with all the support of the community that saved the pier from demolition. We built a beautiful modern structure at this Grade I listed pier which will make it sustainable for the future”.

Representatives of the trust were joined last night by Robert O’Leary of O’Leary Goss Architects. Robert conceived the design for the new Visitor Centre and has worked closely with the Trust and with Beard Construction to deliver the stunning new building.

Photographs of the event will be available very soon and the award will be displayed in the Toll House from today. The attached image shows Simon and Nicole accepting the award from Julian Fellowes (creator of Downton Abbey) and Bettany Hughes (historian, author and broadcaster).