The Grand Hotel Birmingham wins Victorian Society’s Birmingham and the West Midlands Group’s Conservation Award

The restoration of facade of The Grand Hotel in Birmingham has won the Victorian Society’s Birmingham and the West Midlands Group’s first conservation award for work on Victorian and Edwardian buildings in the region. Hotel owners, Hortons’ Estate Limited, will receive a certificate and a bronze disc to display. The Society commended the huge amount of high quality conservation work done by nominees across the region.

The Grand Hotel in Birmingham was designed by Thomas Plevins in 1875 and is Grade II*-listed. The announcement that the Hotel had won the Victorian Society’s Birmingham and West Midlands group’s first conservation award for work on buildings built, or substantially altered, between 1837 and 1914 was made at the Group’s AGM last night. Entries were judged on the care taken to retain the building’s original fabric, conservation of fragile aspects and careful adaption to meet current needs for re-use of the building The high quality of the excellent conservation and restoration projects nominated from across Birmingham and the West Midlands was noted. Many have been individually commended and requested to submit entries for the Group’s 2016 award.

The winner, Hortons’ Estate Limited, receives an 18” bronze disc recording the name of the winner and the year, for display on or in the building, and a framed illuminated scroll, signed by the Chairman of the Group, The Secretary of the Group and the Chairman of the Casework Committee. Formal presentation of the scroll and disc will take place at an official ceremony in May. The work on the façade of The Grand Hotel required expert re-carving of lost stonework detail and exposed vivid marble columns which had been obscured under white paint for decades. Together the project will make a great improvement to Birmingham’s streetscape – seen by thousands of people every year.

Stephen Hartland, Chairman of the Victorian Society’s Birmingham & West Midlands Group, said: ‘This process has illustrated the huge amount of high quality conservation work that goes on in Birmingham and the West Midlands. We would like to thank all those that submitted their work for consideration. The nominees were of a consistently high quality and many have been individually commended – we urge them to submit entries for this year's award. Ultimately the work undertaken by Horton’s Estate on the facade of The Grand Hotel has been truly exceptional and has brought one of the city’s most important buildings back to life’.

Tony Green, Chief Executive of Hortons' Estate Limited, said:

We are honoured to won the Victorian Society Birmingham and West Midlands Group’s 2015 Conservation Award for the restoration of the Colmore Row and Church Street facades of the Grand Hotel. In 2009 some experts advised that the façades could not be saved and the outcome achieved is a tribute to all those, Hortons’ and the Victorian Society included, that did not accept their advice and worked together to find a way of proving them wrong. Particular thanks must go to the team of talented and committed stonemasons that undertook the work with such care and dedication producing an outcome that we are very proud of.