• Sussex Heritage Trust Awards 2023

A warm welcome to you all for the 25th Sussex Heritage Trust Awards, generously sponsored by Irwin Mitchell.

The quality of the projects entered into the Awards scheme continues to be very high as you will see from the list of entries in this programme.

The launch of the 2023 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards 2023 took place in Lancing College Chapel, no stranger to the Awards having won three Awards in 2008, 2018 and in 2022. We thank everyone at Lancing for allowing us to use the chapel for the ceremony but in particular, our special thanks goes to Jeremy Tomlinson who gave us a fascinating history of the chapel building and the wider school. [continued below].


Just click on the category title below to see the winning and highly commended entries for the Sussex Heritage Trust 2023 Awards.

Our annual sponsors, many of whom have been with us for a number of years, are vital for the continued success of the Awards. The relationship with our sponsors and our voluntary judging teams helps us to continue our charitable objectives to promote excellence in conservation, restoration and also the good design of newly built projects. In 2023, we welcome again the South Downs National Park Authority as sponsors of The South Downs Award and we also announce a new Award, The Eco Award which is being sponsored by Cowan Architects. In this inaugural year of this category, we are delighted to have received 23 entries.

This commitment to sustainability is very much reflected in our charitable work in supporting traditional skills and crafts. The Endangered Crafts Fund has supported ten grants in Sussex through our partnership with the Heritage Crafts Association with recent grants given to a block printer, a trainee rake maker and a reverse glass sign artist. Traditional craftmanship and building skills are an important part of the rich heritage of Sussex, which is why we also continue to work closely with the Weald and Downland Living Museum and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation to provide short courses for young people to improve their knowledge of traditional building skills.

All this work sits alongside our awareness-raising campaigns. The Trust has helped save many of the remaining K6 Red Telephone Boxes in Sussex, and our current campaign draws attention to the plight of the Peers of our historic public realm. Our grateful thanks to Trustee Richard Crook for leading on this and to Trevor Leggo who leads both the East and West Sussex Associations of Local Councils, for helping us promote this work.

Becoming a Friend of the Sussex Heritage Trust helps not only to support our charity but also gives you the opportunity to attend some of our fantastic private visits. Most recently we have been guests at Great Dixter House and Gardens and the Gardens at Gravetye Manor. I am also delighted to announce that the Biennial Dinner will take place on Friday 20th October at the beautiful Grade II* listed Folkington Manor by kind permission of Dr Harry and Mrs Jacquie Brunjes.

Michael Drury, Jeremy Tomlinson and Simon Knight at Lancing College Chapel

Sarah Burns Textile Block Printer

Eddy Bennett Reverse Glass Maker

Folkington Manor

We are also keen to make it even easier to leave Gifts in Wills and legacies for the work of the Trust and Irwin Mitchell our headline sponsors are there to assist. Following the death of local artist, Peter Carreras and his wife Greta, the Trust was gifted a painting by celebrated British painter, Duncan Grant. The painting was sold at Toovey’s Spring Gardens Auction Rooms in November 2022 for £14,000, more than double its estimated price. The auction followed a private preview of the painting at Toovey’s, where a further £6,000 was raised towards the work of the charity. The Trust was greatly saddened to hear of the passing of John Small, one of our founding Patrons at Christmas. We pass on our deepest sympathy to his friends and family.

There have also been some changes to the office and we were very sad to say goodbye to Victoria Crespi, who has left the Trust to join the South Downs National Park, but continues to support some of our events. Hannah Stubbington has joined Helen Reeve and Katya Smith as a new member of the office team. We have also appointed a new Trustee, former High Sheriff of West Sussex, James Whitmore.

There is always a long list of thank yous to make, particularly to the hard-working board of Trustees and office team, but I also take this opportunity to thank our President and our Patrons who continue to offer their time and support.

Simon Knight DL

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