Leicester Civic Society
Chairman's Report February 2017

14 February 2017



1.1 On 16 January I issued my Chairman's Report to our members. Almost instantaneously there were two excellent responses to "Membership Drive". The first from long term member and local artist Emma Fitzpatrick, who feels it would be worth our time and money investing in a social media campaign. I have invited Emma to discuss this with us at tonight’s meeting. She is bringing her colleague Emma Willis from Leicester Sketch Club who specializes in social media.

We have 400 followers on Facebook and 1,400 on Twitter and committee decided that we need to take advantage by getting more interactive with this large body of supporters. We therefore need a volunteer or volunteers to assist with this work to expand our size and influence.

1.2 The second was a phone call from Sue Ryan, who organises the annual "Art-House" event in Stoneygate. Sue suggests we attend at this in June this year. Apparently Stoneygate CA Society attend regularly and do very well out of it. www.art-house.org.uk I have responded positively to this. We will need a ‘table’ staffed on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June (and perhaps the evening of Friday 9th?) at 12 Pendene Road. Publicity for this has arrived too late for the March edition of Citizen, so I will need to create leaflets for distribution at all our May events and include with my report for May. It can also go on the website ASAP. Put the dates in your diaries now.

1.3. These two initiatives, taken together, couldachieve the same or better than going to all the trouble of a hard copy promotion.

2. MID-WINTER MEET UP. 03 February: The room was packed. (It has a comfortable capacity of 30) We had 25 book and 2 no shows but 4 who turned up not having booked in advance. The Globe were perfect hosts and the buffet great. This event was popular and clearly, we must do it again some time. I think it could become a regular feature of our winter programme. Room hire is apparently free in January and February, so we made a nice profit and can bring the price down next year. Some reckoned the quiz was too difficult but Neil Crutchley and Sylvia Gibson both walked away with Civic Society bars of chocolate! After a slight technical delay the film of a “Hairy Biker” in Leicester last August was very well received.

3. 2016 AWARDS:

3.1.Many thanks to Peter, Howard, Ann and Richard who braved a day of attempted snow to look at some remarkable projects on 11 February. We gave the Restoration Award to Leicester City Council for Friars Mill, which means so much to the history of Leicester - and so much to the history of this Society. The New Build Award goes to De Montfort University for the Vijay Patel Building, a stunning new development for the University’s Art & Design Faculty, in a stunning historic riverside setting. A worthy commendation goes to Delilah Fine Foods for the restoration of Edward Burgess’s Leicester Savings Bank of 1873, located in the Greyfriars Townscape Heritage Initiative area. We also gave a special “Domestic Restoration Award” to Tippetts & Brooks www.tippettsbrooks.co.uk for their superb craftmanship at 12 to 16 Stoneygate Road, 1897 houses by Stockdale Harrison that have been lovingly restored.

3.2. The winners will be informed by 16 February and the press release issued immediately after. Full details will be in Leicester Citizen to be published on 27th February and on our web site.

4. HERITAGE PARTNERSHIP: 16 January, St. Martins House. Jennifer attended. There were presentations on the museum proposals at Leicester North Station and the new Appraisal and Management Plan for Church Gate Conservation Area.

5. STORY OF PARKS: 26 January, Western Park. Walk/talk for Age UK. Leigh ran this very professionally.

6. CITY SERIES: 26 January. Several of us attended the inaugural lecture given by Sir Peter Soulsby at City Hall.

7. LEICESTER CATHEDRAL REVEALED: I attended the presentation on 07 February. The Cathedral will be making an HLF Bid for £5.65M with 50% matched funding. Their architect presented initial designs for repair, renewal and replacement, principally involving a new visitor centre on the site of the 1938 choir school. Looks good so far but the devil’s in the detail (!)

8. GREYFRIARS PROJECT BOARD: Joint meeting with the Grants Panel on 20 February. Grant application for restoration of 21 St. Martins to be considered.

9. LEICESTER CITIZEN. Now with the printers. Should be issued on time before 01 March.

10. “LET’S GO TO TOWN”. 06 March. Historic England conference on “Place Branding, Pride and Prosperity”. As advised earlier. Book now. www.historicengland.org.uk Moved from Leicester University to City Hall due to demand.

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