Heritage Angel Awards Ceremony 2021 Belfast City Hall Read Story

Official Launch Press Release


Official Launch Press Release

29 April 2021


For immediate release, 28th April 2021.

Heritage Angel Awards Northern Ireland 2021 is Declared Open for Applications and Nominations.

Following last year’s sabbatical, the fourth Heritage Angel Awards NI was launched this week. The virtual event hosted by Wendy Austin featured special guests singer/songwriters Brigid O’Neill, Anthony Toner and poet Maria McManus who performed bespoke pieces from previous Angel Award ceremonies based on the built heritage and history of Belfast, Derry~Londonderry and Armagh. 

The scheme funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Department for Communities is led by Ulster Architectural Heritage. The Awards seek to celebrate the efforts of people who go to extraordinary lengths to protect, save and share their local heritage.  They also recognise those who champion heritage by sharing and practising traditional skills. In addition they celebrate young people, recognising their efforts to learn about heritage.

Melanie Hamill and Andrew Rooney, two of the winners from the 2019 Awards also joined proceedings to reflect on their experience.  Melanie for Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place spoke of the challenges and outcomes of the successful restoration of Strangford Presbyterian Church, once on the verge of complete dereliction to its current five star holiday accommodation condition. Andrew who along with his brother Brian won the Best Craftsmanship or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project, talked about his family’s multi-generational involvement and love for the project with their restoration of the iconic Mourne Wall.

This year’s six categories include:

  • Best Maintenance of a Historic Building or Place
  • Best Rescue of an Historic Building or Place – Under £1m   
  • Best Major Regeneration of a Historic Building or Place – Over £1m
  • Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by Young People
  • Best Craftsmanship or Apprenticeship on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project
  • Best Research, Interpretation or Recording of a Historic Building or Place

Nominations and applications are now open and will close on Friday 31 May.  A team of heritage experts will have the tough task of whittling down shortlists for each category and a panel of judges will choose the eventual winners who will be announced at the Heritage Angels Awards NI ceremony in November this year.

The project is lead funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Department for Communities: Historic Environment Division in 2021. Delivered in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board, National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Heritage Trust Network and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.  

For full details on how to apply to the 2021 Heritage Angel Awards NI or nominate someone else for an award please visit www.heritageangelawards-ni.org.uk/

Nicola McVeigh, Chief Executive, Ulster Architectural Heritage Society

‘UAH is delighted to launch the fourth Heritage Angel Awards Northern Ireland in 2021 and welcomes support for them from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Department for Communities. Strabane District Council.

We are delighted to return to celebrating the achievements of those who repair, rescue, regenerate and record built heritage in Northern Ireland and look forward the Angel Awards ceremony in November. The success of previous Heritage Angel Awards demonstrated the high level of activity and interest in local heritage and we hope by highlighting these achievements recognised and celebrated, many more people will become involved in projects to help built heritage in Northern Ireland into the future.’

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who founded the Historic England Angel Awards in 2011, said:

‘Architecture is the most vulnerable art form and one that I have been passionate about all my life. I am delighted my Foundation can support the Heritage Angel Awards in Northern Ireland again in 2021 and help shine a spotlight on those who have made a significant contribution towards protecting the country’s heritage.’

Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities, said:

I am delighted that my Department has been able to support this event via its Historic Environment Fund. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important that we take time to celebrate the efforts of those who have invested effort, passion, and money into our built heritage and of those who have quietly maintained historic buildings to a high standard. 

Heritage can help reinforce our pride of place, contribute to our wellbeing, help tourism to recover, and allow skilled jobs to be sustained.

These awards help to show us what our community, at its best, can deliver. They are an important reminder of the potential that exists in this area as we prepare to face the challenges ahead.’


Keep up to date with the latest from the Heritage Angel Awards NI on Twitter and Facebook at @ulsterahs


For further information on Heritage Angel Awards NI, please contact

Contact:          Maura Ahern, Communications & Events Officer, UAH

Telephone:      028 90550213

Email:              [email protected]

Ulster Architectural Heritage:

UAH is a charitable, membership organisation founded in 1967. It exists to promote appreciation, preservation and conservation of architecture across the nine counties of Ulster. Over the last 50 years UAH has established itself as a fearless campaigner for buildings of merit, a generous resource of information on local architecture, and a fair and helpful source of advice. Its main activities include campaigning & lobbying, support & advice, publications and events. UAH works with the Historic Environment Division, (HED), at the Department for Communities, (DfC), to record and promote the conservation of listed buildings at risk through the Built Heritage at Risk NI, (BHARNI) partnership. www.uahs.org.uk

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation:

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation was set up by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1992 to promote the arts, culture and heritage for the public benefit; since inception Andrew has been the principal provider of funding for all its charitable activities.

The Foundation now runs an active grant giving programme and has awarded grants of over £20m to support high quality training and personal development as well as other projects that make a real difference to enrich the quality of life both for individuals and within local communities.


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