Church scoops an award for revamp

St Giles' Church in Pontefract town centre has had a renovation of it's interior. (P522B325)
St Giles' Church in Pontefract town centre has had a renovation of it's interior. (P522B325)

Pontefract’s St Giles’ Church scooped top prize at this year’s Pontefract Civic Society annual design awards.

The building – parts of which date from the 12th century and which has had a £660,000 revamp – won the heritage category prize for the quality of its internal alterations and how they have been incorporated into the structure.

Paul Cartwright, society secretary, said: “For the second year in succession, St Giles is a worthy winner of one of our design awards, and it’s the first time a building has done that.

“The interior transformation retains and blends historical architectural features with the warmth of contemporary wood and glass, set against the white painted walls which offers a bright backdrop to the spacious and friendly atmosphere.”

The work took almost two years to complete and the new west end of the church now has improved access as well as a new reception area, kitchen, community cafe, toilets and meeting rooms.

There is also a new stone floor, with underfloor heating, and the pews have been replaced by new oak chairs.

St Giles’ vicar, Rev Bob Cooper, said: “We’re delighted to receive this award from the Civic Society.

“The works recently undertaken have been at the planning stage for some time so a great deal of thought has been put into the scheme.

“They are the first major internal alterations to the building since 1868 and we hope that they will serve the requirements of the local community for at least the next 100 years.”

The society also gave a first place improvement award to Mark Rowland of Top Marks Suit Hire, on Ropergate, for refurbishment works to the store. The group did not hand out its facade of the year award this year as the committee did not feel it received any suitable nominations.