Picture copyright Craig Auckland / Fotohaus

What are the Angel Awards?

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 Clevedon Pier & Heritage Trust Visitor Centre is one of four finalists in the category of Best Community Action Project.

How can I vote?

Click here to vote.

The Visitor Centre Project

1) The aim

The aim of the project was to create high quality visitor facilities and generate additional income to maintain this outstanding community asset on past its 150th year.

2) The most obvious outcome

The most obvious outcome is the stunning Visitor Centre building designed by O’Leary Goss Architects. It is conceived as a partly buried structure – with its lowest level dug down into the earth and rock of the pier approach ramp. In the refurbished Toll House, just alongside the pier entrance, an outstanding interactive interpretation display covers three main themes: the Pier, Clevedon Town and the Severn Estuary.

3) The action

The action was to design, fund and deliver the new Visitor Centre. Although appropriate professionals contributed throughout, the Trust provided the forethought, energy and perseverance to deliver the scheme. This involved initial planning, selection of professional advisers, applying for funding, grants and a loan, organising a Community Share offer, agreeing the design, procuring a contractor and monitoring the construction process.

4) The project team

We sought as part of the project to strengthen our pier management team and, as a direct requirement of our Activity Plan, set out to employ a Heritage and Outreach Officer and a Community Engagement Officer.

However, at a broader level the project had to deliver a new future for the pier: one in which the Trust and pier management team are able to generate sufficient revenue to ensure the long term sustainability of the pier. Iron structures standing in salt water require huge amounts of maintenance, and the Trust exists to ensure that our funding position allows us to keep maintaining this beautiful structure.

5) How it all began

The first idea for the Visitor Centre came in 2010. As a plan emerged, we engaged a professional team lead by O’Leary Goss Architects to produce designs and negotiated with English Heritage to build a modern building with the curtilage of a Grade 1 listed structure, for which we received a full endorsement before we applied for Planning and Listed Building Consents. Whilst plans were developing, we applied for numerous grants between 2011 and 2013. We had sufficient funding in place to make a start on site in 2014 and construction works reached completion in 2016.

6) How the project was funded

Many sources of funding have been used for the Visitor Centre project. Securing funding has been difficult and required immense efforts from several of the Trustees (working alongside a heritage consultant for some of the time) in producing applications and submissions.

In parallel with the construction, the Trust decided to embark upon a Community Share Offer which required that it should convert to a Community Benefit Society. The Share Offer ran between August 2015 and January 2016 and raised over £250,000 from over 1,100 local members plus an investment of £80,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund.

7) Can I view more images?

Yes, click here to see more photographs of the stunning new Visitor Centre.