Hunt is on to find best restoration projects in Sussex

The hunt is on to find the best restored building in West Sussex.

Ditchling Museum, winner of Sussex Heritage award SUS-150227-145131001

The Sussex Heritage Trust Awards recognise and reward designs which are ‘for the future and respect the past’ and last Tuesday (February 24) chairman Dr John Godfrey launched the 17th annual awards at one of last year’s winning buildings, Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft.

“We are looking for both new buildings and conventional buildings, refurbishments of old buildings, places that are innovative but in keeping with the area and look natural,” he said.

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“I want to encourage as many entries as possible, they could be building owners, architects or crafts people.”

Goodwood was a winner of Heritage Awards SUS-150203-104126001

The awards recognise use of traditional skills and craft as well as newly built projects.

Dr Godfrey added the awards are seeking commercial, public and community buildings which make ‘a real contribution to the landscape’ .

“It has never been more relevant than it is in 2015 to ‘design for the future and respect the past’,” he said.

“It’s a real range. We also look at schemes recycling water, and those sorts of issues.”

Entries must be submitted by April 10, with winners announced at Pangean Old Barn, London Road, Pyecombe at 12.30pm on July 9.

Chairman of the Awards Committee Violet Hancock said: “There are so many vibrant things in Sussex and this celebrates that.

“Past winners have been residential, large schools, churches, renovations, public and community buildings. We’ve had windmills, water features, factories, anything!”

Dr Godfrey thanked judges, trustees and sponsors for their support at the launch.

Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft on Lodge Hill Lane hosted the event after winning the Public and Community category in 2014.

The judges described the museum as: “Clearly a fantastically considered project, which was realised through the hard work and determination of the museum’s staff and all the members of the project team.”

The project included the refurbishment of the existing museum, the restoration of a derelict listed barn as the new entrance and the construction of two new buildings.

Director of the museum Nathaniel Hepburn said it was a ‘pleasure’ to host the event.

The restoration of Westwood Lake at Wakehurst Place, Kew’s country garden in Ardingly, won the Landscape and Gardens category last year.

The judges said: “A well executed project that already looks well established and in keeping with its surroundings.

“A very technically challenging project including a reed bed to capture the silt, as the old silt had to be pumped 500 metres up a steeply wooded slope.”

Dredging accumulated silts in the restoration increased water storage capacity, to supply irrigation water to the botanic gardens.

Wakehurst’s reed bed silt trap also eases lake maintenance.

Described by the Sussex Heritage Trust Award judges as “the best executed development of this type they had ever seen” – the Mayfair House in Worthing was originally adapted from two elegant and well-proportioned houses. This former seafront hotel suffered many years of neglect and devastating deterioration both inside and outside. The Grade 2 Listed Building, a 2014 winner in the Large Scale Residential category, has been stunningly refurbished, renovated and preserved to form eleven apartments on Worthing’s seafront.

A 2014 winner in the Commercial Award category was Goodwood Motor Circuit Race Control Building at Goodwood (pictured). The judges described this project as “An excellent refurbishment and highly innovative restoration of an iconic building using modern technology and design without losing the building’s character and essence”.

Also Ilex Cottage in Burpham, a Small Scale Residential winner at the Sussex Heritage Trust Awards in 2014. Described by the judges as a “bold and quirky dwelling, which still retains some character of the building it replaced.”

Another 2014 winner in the Small Scale Residential Award category was the Springhill Orchard House in Weirwood, Forest Row as was Upper Farm House, Bepton, Midhurst.

For more information and an application form, visit:, or email [email protected] or phone 01243 576524.