Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust has received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen's coronation and is known as the MBE for volunteer groups.
At a special ceremony at Scampston Hall near Malton, on 27th September, Peter Scrope, Vice Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire presented the award on behalf of The Queen to the Trust. Accepting the award, Chair of the trust Ian Hepworth said, “I am delighted that all our volunteers past and present have been recognised for their hard work over many years.”
Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust’s aims are to acquire and develop significant heritage buildings for diverse community use and commercial viability. Specifically, the objectives of the trust are to preserve buildings by ‘Making Buildings Better’. To date, the group has restored the grade 2* listed redundant Richmond Station, entirely with volunteers, raising 2.7m with grants and funding. It is now an exciting cultural venue for film, food and art; including an art gallery, café|bar, shop, cinema and local independent food and drink producers.
The Station has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, following years of planning, fundraising and development work. It is now a well known landmark that is appreciated by residents and visitors alike. A recent Sunday Times article described The Station as ‘A Marvel’ and ‘one of Richmond’s star attractions.’ (8th October 2018).
More recently, the trust has undertaken the work to preserve and restore Richmond’s Old Grammar School (Lower School), aided by a first-round grant from the Heritage Enterprise Lottery Fund and from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The trust is currently working towards saving the school to be used as a sustainable ‘Community Hub’, providing community facilities with complementary commercial use to ensure its future viability.