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Award Criteria and Eligibility for the Angel Awards

We have announced the winners of the 2016 Historic England Angel Awards. See the winners and shortlisted entries.

Construction site within a church.
All Souls’ Church, Bolton, has been repaired whilst retaining the character and unique design at the heart of the project


Is my project eligible?

To be eligible to apply for a Historic England Angel Award you must be a group or individual who has done one or more of the following:

  • Actively championed a heritage site (or sites)
  • Taken part in a heritage project including young people
  • Taken part in a research project to further understanding, or inform value or protection of a heritage site
  • Rescued a listed heritage site
  • Been an active champion of heritage, showing outstanding contribution to heritage

What are the award categories?

The award categories are:

What ages are covered in the 'young people' category?

Anyone up to the age of 25 (age at the time the application is submitted) is eligible in this category.

Are only completed projects eligible?

Projects which have completed within the past two years, or are due to be completed by end of October 2016 are eligible to apply for an award.

Do heritage sites have to be on the National Heritage List for England to be eligible?

No, except for sites that have been rescued. To be eligible in this category, sites must either be on the National Heritage list for England, a Local List or be designated as a conservation area by a Local Authority.

How do I check if a site has been listed?

Sites can be listed nationally by the Department of Culture Media and Sport or locally by local authorities.

You can search for nationally listed sites on the National Heritage List for England  on Historic England's website.

Most local authorities have lists and maps of conservation areas they've designated on their websites.

Where available, Local Lists can be accessed from the relevant local authority.

What is a Local List?

Local authorities can produce and maintain Local Lists to record locally important buildings. Not all local authorities have Local Lists but those that do often publish them on their website.

What are the terms and conditions?

To be eligible, all applicants and those nominated for an award are asked to sign up to the terms and conditions of the awards.

Award criteria

How will you decide which applications to shortlist?

The judges will use the award criteria below to judge your application/project. The best four in each category will be shortlisted.

You should aim to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria in your application form.

  • Need - was there a specific need for the project?
  • Completeness - is the project well underway or complete?
  • Passion - what made the 'Angel' get involved in the project? Why does the project and heritage site mean so much to those involved in the project? What made you continue in the face of adversity?
  • Perseverance - what challenges had to be overcome? Did you suffer any setbacks
  • Legacy - how has the project contributed to the future of a heritage site/s? Have any new skills been learnt or shared?
  • Imagination - what creative solutions were considered/explored or adopted as part of the project? Was there anything unique about the way you tackled the project?

Best community action project - this award will recognise the work of local community groups (i.e. voluntary groups) in championing their local heritage. The 'action' must be in relation to a place but it does not have to be listed heritage. This award will recognise not just completed projects but also those that are in progress and have achieved notable milestones. Outcomes could be tangible (like a roof being replaced on an unoccupied building) or intangible (such as completion of an adopted conservation area management plan).

Best contribution to a heritage project by young people - this award will recognise the contribution to heritage projects by young people. The 'contribution' should be towards a heritage project or site (as above, this could be listed or not). We expect that adults would enter an application on behalf of under 16s and where relevant both would be acknowledged.

Best research project - this award will recognise the contribution to understanding, valuing and protecting heritage by both expert academics and professionals (individuals and teams). Professionals could range from local planning authority staff to a contractor. Again, this would be recognition for a specific project or output. Voluntary groups are not eligible to apply under this group but should apply instead under the 'Best community action project' category.

Outstanding contribution to heritage - this award will recognise a voluntary or professional individual or group who has shown grit, determination, flexibility, and adaptability to achieve a specific outcome or outcomes - a true heritage champion. This could be for a long-standing heritage project or for action towards several heritage projects.

Best rescue of a heritage site - this award will recognise both voluntary and professional individuals and groups who are rescuing heritage at risk. This includes owners and developers. This category includes rescues of locally listed heritage, as well as nationally listed heritage. All sizes of rescue project are eligible as it's the actions taken to rescue the site that matter, not the size of the rescue site.

What do you mean by 'heritage'?

Heritage is a building, site or place which is of special architectural, historical or cultural significance. This could be a building or group of buildings (including those in use for worship), park or garden, archaeological site, battlefield, wreck site, conservation area or other kind of area or place.

What do you mean by 'rescue'?

There are different ways in which a site can be rescued and these are largely dependent on the type of site (see What do you mean by 'heritage'? section above for a list of the types of site). For example, rescuing a listed building is very different to rescuing a registered battlefield. There is no one right answer or solution that fits every site. That's what makes our heritage so special.

Whether your project is part way through or completed, tell us what you are doing (e.g. major repair project, finding a new use for the site etc.) to ensure that the site is being saved for future generations to understand, enjoy and care for.

Download a pdf of the eligibility and award criteria

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