Criteria & Guidance 2019

Award Criteria and Guidance for the

Heritage Angel Awards NI 2019


Is my project eligible?

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

  • Rescued a historic building, site, place or landscape
  • Contributed to a heritage project as a young person
  • Used craft skills or trained/be training as an apprentice on a heritage rescue or repair project
  • Researched, documented, catalogued, recorded or interpreted a heritage project, collection or set of records or data.

What are the award categories?

The award categories are:

Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place (for projects under £2m)

This award recognises volunteers and professionals, individuals and groups who have rescued a historic building, place, landscape or site. This category includes locally and nationally listed buildings, but the age or type of building does not matter as long as it is a historic building that appears on a recognised heritage register.  This award will also recognise archaeological sites, projects involving parks and gardens and buildings removed from the Heritage at Risk register.  It does not have to be listed or scheduled; it could be part of a conservation area or a local building of significant interest. All sizes and types of rescue project are eligible, as it is the actions taken to rescue them that will be judged.

 Best Major Regeneration of a Historic Building or Place (for projects over £2m)

This award will recognise projects that have seen large scale investment, put into saving, rescuing or regenerating a building or place.  This is to award best practice and could be awarded to a team that has given a new lease of life to a building by innovative or sympathetic reuse.  This may be awarded to an individual who has led on a project within a large organisation or the organisation as a whole.  Applications are open to private firms, local authorities, building practices, planners, developers and architects.

Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by Young People

This award will recognise the contribution to heritage projects by young people up to the age of 25.  The award can be for individuals or groups and can include University students and young apprentices. Groups can include school children, projects from social clubs or local volunteer groups. The ‘contribution’ should be towards a heritage project or place (as above, this doesn’t have to be listed). Adults may enter an application on behalf of under 16s, and where relevant.

Best Craftsmanship or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project

This award will recognise volunteers or professionals who have demonstrated the application of craft skills that have been key in repairing or rescuing a historic site. For example, it could be someone who has carved stone gargoyles for a church, repaired a historic window, or learned how to recreate Elizabethan bricks for a particular rescue.  The craft can be from any discipline, for example, woodwork, masonry, metalwork or thatching.  It is also an opportunity to award apprentices where work has made a significant contribution to a restoration.  This award also looks at those individuals who have trained apprentices to carry on their work.

Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording

This award recognises those who have helped people understand and enjoy a heritage based project.  It is open to everyone from volunteers, professionals, individuals and groups.   It may be a project that has engaged a local community, school or group by teaching them about the buildings and spaces around them or that has created an archive or unique way of interpreting a heritage project. For example, it could be a group of local people identifying areas of improvement in their local conservation area, an individual who has restored a historic public place, a group who have saved a stone circle or a team who have helped research archaeological remains in a landscape.

Peoples’ Favourite

An on-line vote where all shortlisted projects are judged by the public.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 that have completed within the past ten years, or are due to be completed by the end of October 2019 are eligible to apply for an award.

Do heritage sites have to be on the Listed Buildings Register NI or Buildings at Risk Register?

No, a building does not need to be on either of the above lists or in a designated conservation area, however we would like to know if it is.

How do I check if a site has been listed?

The Listed Buildings Database is available on the Department for Communities website at

The Built Heritage at Risk NI (BHARNI) Register, is available on the UAH website at . The BHARNI Register is maintained by UAH in Partnership with the Department for Communities.

If you are unsure whether a site is listed, is or has been ‘at risk’ please do not hesitate to contact UAH for assistance.

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 three in each category will be shortlisted.

The following can help to demonstrate how you meet the criteria in your application form. The list below is a guideline of what the judges will be looking for when assessing your application.

  • 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?
  • Other – what makes your project special?

For inspiration, see last year’s short list.

What do you mean by ‘heritage’?

Heritage is a building, site or area that 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. 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 almost complete or already finished, 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.

If you have any queries please email [email protected]