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 Cockermouth Town Council, as part of the Shopfront Steering Group, was a big winner at the English Heritage Angels Awards 2012.

The group won the Angel Award for the Best Rescue of Any Other Type of Historic Building or Place.

The ceremony, held at The Palace Theatre on October 22, was hosted by TV presenter Clare Balding, with actor and TV presenter Graham Norton, art historian and dealer Philip Mould, culture minister Ed Vaizey, writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and Telegraph journalist Charles Moore presenting the awards.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber chaired the judging panel, which comprised Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, historian Bettany Hughes, the Bishop of London, the Right Revd Richard Chartres, Mr Bragg and Mr Moore,

Lord Webber said: “All 16 shortlisted groups were exceptional and the judges had a hard time deciding between them. But in the end the winners stood out for their passion, perseverance and imagination, for the scale of the challenges they had taken on and for the legacy they leave behind – a secure future for beautiful historic buildings, which without them could so easily have simply disappeared.

“I am delighted that this first year of the award scheme has brought so many English Heritage Angels into the spotlight and look forward to many others joining their ranks in the years to come.”

Mr Thurley said: “Once again we have been dazzled by the energy, invention, commitment and public spiritedness of thousands of people determined to save their precious heritage. While the Angel Awards were presented to five people, we are all winners, as we can now enjoy the historic places they have saved for the future.”

Other award winners were:

  • Angel Award for the Best Repair of a Place of Worship:
  • Pauline Burkitt and Simon Pleasley, Church Wardens for St Mary’s Church, West Somerton, Norfolk
  • Angel Award for the Best Craftsmanship Employed on a Heritage Rescue:
  • Station Developments for Tynemouth Station, North Tyneside
  • Angel Award voted for by English Heritage followers and Telegraph readers:
  • Russell Savory, Friends of Stow Maries Aerodrome for Stow Maries Word War I Airfield, Maldon, Essex

Films about all 16 of the shortlisted candidates, including the winners, can be seen on the English Heritage website:

The English Heritage Angel Awards are co-funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation: