The Civic Trust Awards scheme was established in 1959 to recognise outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment.

As the longest standing built environment awards scheme in Europe, during the last 59 years, more than 7000 projects have been rewarded and the scheme has continued in its objective to recognise projects that have made a positive contribution to the local communities they serve.

The Civic Trust Awards is one of the only remaining independent built environment awards schemes, not linked to any organisation, institution or publication and operates on a not-for-profit basis. We also provide an opportunity for the general public to participate in nominating and judging schemes from their local area.


The Civic Trust Awards is not just about rewarding architecture or design excellence. We strongly believe that successful projects should also exhibit strong sustainability credentials, a high level of inclusive and accessible design, whilst also demonstrating how the project has provided a positive civic contribution. The Civic Trust Awards is unique and is recognised the only 360 degree awards scheme in the world that promotes:

  • Excellence in architecture and design standards
  • Accessible and Inclusive design
  • Positive community impact
  • Sustainable design & construction
  • Consultation with user groups
  • Innovation    
  • Social and economic renewal
  • Localism
  • Sustainable planning
  • Sensitive conservation and restoration
  • Designing in context
  • Variety of entries inlcuding temporary buildings and structures

Civic Trust Awards CIC is registered in England and Wales (No. 6885454)

How to apply

The 2017 Civic Trust Awards application round is NOW CLOSED - Thank you to everyone who sumitted their enties this year, you will be contacted shortly regarding first stage assessment.

Applications are made ON LINE with first stage assessments taking place during August, September & October. Regional Finalists will be announced in November 2017 and the National and International Winners revealed at the 2018 Awards Ceremony on Friday 9th March venue tbc.

MS Word Document

Please click this link for an MS Word version of the Civic Trust Awards application form which may assist in compiling all the relevant information for your entry. The AABC Conservation Award Application Form (MS Word version) can also be downloaded by clicking this link. Please note, we do not accept applications submitted as an MS Word document - all information/data will need to be transferred manually (by the applicant) to our online application system for the project to be considered.


The online application guidance notes for our next application round is now available to download by CLICKING HERE - this will assist you when completing your online submission and includes step-by-step instructions for completing each stage of the application form.

Who Can Enter?

Entries can be made by anyone closely connected with a project, so long as the permission of the owner and occupier of the scheme has been obtained prior to entering.

Completion Date

Schemes must be completed between 1st January 2015 and 1st September 2017 - this includes any surrounding areas, landscaping and car parking which form part of the design.

Closing Date

Entries must be submitted on line by 5pm on Friday 28th July 2017. Please note we do not offer an extension to this deadine.

Interior Design

Wholly internal schemes are not eligible to apply unless the scheme is accessible to the public (i.e. internal restoration of a historic building/museum etc). However, internal aspects will be considered as part of the assessment process.


Schemes must be visible to the public - it must be possible to see most of it, all year round, from a public thoroughfare. Private buildings that are regularly used by large numbers of people, for instance schools or commercial buildings, are considered visible. Entry fees cannot be returned if the judges decide the scheme is not visible.

Large, Phased Projects

Fully completed phases of large projects (including any landscaping or ancillary works) are eligible to apply. Entrants should state in the scheme description how the phase relates to the project as a whole, and indicate the project’s total size and expected completion date. Judges visiting the scheme must be able to fully assess any completed phase of the project. If our judges decide that the scheme cannot be fully assessed due to the incomplete nature of the scheme or any adjacent works, then the application will be considered unsuccessful. In such instances, resubmission will be permitted at a later date (additional application fee payable).

Private Houses & Housing Schemes

Private houses are eligible but must demonstrate how their project contributes to the debate on topics such as density, sustainability and social mix (e.g. affordable homes). Entrants are reminded that the building must be visible to the public.


Entries made in previous years cannot be resubmitted unless the judges decided the entry was premature/incomplete. The entrant will have been informed that their scheme will be reconsidered.


Should relevant circumstances come to light that had not been known at the time of judging an award may be withheld.


The decision of the National Panel is final. The Panel do not enter into any correspondence regarding the decision. 

Supporting Documentation

Your application will be submitted on-line and you will be required to submit information about the scheme and include contact information for all organisations involved in the project. Your application will also need to be accompanied by the following supporting documentation, which must be supplied electronically (uploaded) at the time of submission:

  • Site Context Plan - please include a site plan (PDF format) of the scheme of sufficient scale (eg 1:1250 or 1:500) to show the site in relation to streetscape and surrounding buildings. A multiple page PDF can be submitted (max file size 5MB per PDF)
  • Ground floor plans and Cross Sections (PDF format) must be submitted if the application is for a building, at suitable scale (eg 1.100 or 1:200 for larger projects). If the project is an extension or conversion, before and after plans should be submitted and clearly labelled, or the extension marked in a red colour for clarity. For landscaping or Public Realm projects, a plan showing scheme layout/scheme details can be included. A multiple page PDF can be submitted (max file size 5MB per PDF).

Applicants must also submit 20 individual photos of the scheme (JPEG format) which include:

  • Context Photos - Photos of the scheme taken from a distance are essential from at least two view-points to demonstrate the context in which the scheme fits within its surroundings (max file size 5MB per image)
  • Scheme Photos - both external and internal (if the application is for a building). Photos should be selected to give a sense of the scheme and provide view-points from multiple elevations (max file size 5MB per image). Photos of specific detailing or materials should only be provide where these are essential to the judging process and can be submitted as additional images on CD as per the note below.

Images supplied at application stage are used for production of the winners’ brochure and on our website. Photos must be supplied in high resolution JPEG format (not PDF or TIFF) within the max 5MB limit. All photos must be clean images (free from borders, notes, text etc) and must not be a picture collage.

In addition to submitting 20 images in support of your application, please feel free to make additional images/video available to us via Dropbox/WeTransfer, clearly labelled with the applicant organisation and name of the project. Additional images/vide0 should arrive no later than Tursday 31st August 2017

Fees and Criteria

UK Entry Fees

The standard entry fee is £250 +VAT (£300 inc VAT) per scheme where application fees are paid online via our secure (and verified) PAYPAL account.

Application fees must be paid at the time of online submission by credit/debit card.

Please note, we are unable to accept credit/debit card payments made over the telephone.

Become a Civic Trust Awards Member and save £100 on your application fee and receive a complimentary ticket to the 2018 Civic Trust Awards Ceremony

Schemes submitted by Civic Trust Awards Corporate Members or Local Authority Members: £150 +VAT (£180 inc VAT) per scheme.

To qualify for discounted application fees in addition to a suite of additional benefits, please request a Membership Application form by email or call (01925) 270647.

CTA members can pay by BACS, Invoice or Cheque. Please email to request our account details.

VAT No: 975 5965 51

International Entry Fees

The application fee for international entries can be obtained on request and will depend on the exchange rate at the time of application. A nominal international banking fee will also apply. Payment can be made via an international transfer using the following details:

IBAN: GB51 NWBK 6070 0851 3898 51

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there specific categories for entry to the Awards Scheme?

Each application is eligible to win a Civic Trust Award regardless of the nature or category of the scheme.

We have three specific categories that your scheme can be entered into; Civic Trust Awards, ProTem Awards (for temporary installations/structures) and AABC Conservation Awards (for conservation projects)

You can enter your project for both a Civic Trust Award and AABC Award should the scheme be suitable, however two application fees would need to be paid and two applications completed.  National and International Award winners are also considered by National Panel for an additional Special Award.

Can I submit multiple projects?

Yes, but each scheme must be entered as separate entries. We do not accept multiple buildings submitted under one application.


Do I need to complete all sections of the application form?
Yes, each section makes up the key criteria to winning a Civic Trust Award. We strongly suggest that you consult with your universal design consultant when completing the Universal Design Section. Also, please ensure ALL credits and contacts are listed at the time of application as these will appear in the winners brochure and on certificates should the project be successful.


What are the word/character limits on the application form?
For the Scheme Description, Sustainability, Inclusive/Universal Design and Community Impact sections of the application form, the character limit for Civic Trust Awards entries is 6000 characters per section including all spaces and special characters (bullet points, commas, full stops etc)

For Pro-Tem and AABC Conservation Entries the character limit is 3000 per section, plus an additional 3000 for Pro-Tem Details and 12000 for Conservation Details. All character limits include spaces, commas, full stops and other special characters.


Can I submit phased projects?
Yes, as long as the phase is fully completed in terms of landscaping, parking etc and the determination of the projects success will not be impacted by ongoing works.


Can I resubmit a project that has been entered previously and was unsuccessful?
If a project was considered unsuccessful due to its incomplete nature, or if there were access issues or other problems which resulted in difficulties when undertaking the assessment visit, it is possible to resubmit the entry. Please email us for more details.


Can I enter a private house?
Whilst it is possible to enter a private residence to the Civic Trust Awards, in addition to architectural merit, our assessment criteria also consider issues such as sustainability, universal design principles and community impact/engagement. Successful applications must also demonstrate how they meet these criteria.


Can I enter projects from overseas?
Yes, entries from all over the world can be submitted to the Civic Trust Awards for consideration. This is not limited to just UK practices working abroad; overseas applicants can also submit their projects to us.


What are the eligibility dates for completion of schemes? 
Schemes completed between 1st January 2015 and 1st September 2017 are eligible to apply. If your completion date falls outside this window, it still may be possible to enter. Please email us for more details.


How many images can I submit? What is the maximum size of images?
Up to 20 images (JPEG only) can be submitted in support of each application and uploaded to our online application portal. Should you wish to submit additional photos/video, these can be sent to us via Dropbox/WeTransfer.

Each image should be clean (no borders, text etc) and no larger than 5MB in size and should include;

Context Photos - Photos of the scheme taken from a distance are essential from at least two viewpoints to demonstrate the context in which the scheme fits within its surroundings (max file size 5MB per image)

Scheme Photos - both internal and external if the application is for a building. Photos should give a sense of the scheme, identifying specific details that you would like the panel to consider (max file size 5MB per image).

They should be clean, high resolution images that can be used in the CTA Winners Brochure should they become Award or Commendation Winners.


Can I submit plans and cross sections of the project?

There is a facility to upload two PDF documents to our online application system to accompany your entry at a suitable scale. These do not need to be A4/A3 size as assessors will view these documents on screen and can zoom into certain elements of the document. Each PDF can contain multiple pages but cannot be larger than 5MB. Where the project is a landscaping scheme, you can utilise this facility to upload other PDF documents to support your entry, e.g. the planting scheme.


Can I send additional information to support my application such as literature, DVD’s etc?
We do not accept additional literature to accompany your application (such as reports, news articles etc) but you can send additional photographs and/or a movie (2 minutes maximum) to support your application. These should be made available to us on Dropbox/WeTransfer before Thursday 31st August 2017


Can I pay my entry fee over the phone?
No, unfortunately we do not offer the facility to take telephone payments. Credit/debit card payments must be made online at the time of entry. It is possible for Corporate or Local Authority Members to make a payment via BACS or invoice.


Is there a discount to application fees for charities, community groups or not-for-profit organisations? 
Unfortunately, as a not-for-profit organisation ourselves, we need to cover the cost of assessment and administration of our entries and as such, are unable to offer further discounts on the application fee unless you are a member of the Civic Trust Awards.


Can someone from the architecture practice be there during the assessment visit?
No, we ask that someone from the scheme be there to provide access to the project for our assessors where necessary. N.B. Our assessors do not require a formal presentation of the scheme at the time of their visit.


Are all schemes visited?
Where possible, as part of the first stage assessment process, projects are visited by our Assessors during August, September and October depending on Assessor availability. AABC Conservation Applications, International entries and in some areas of the UK where schemes are remote (or no local assessment team is available), a thorough desk assessment of these projects is conducted by the Civic Trust Awards National Panel and AABC


When do we hear if we’ve been short listed?
If projects have been considered successful at the first stage assessment, they are considered to be “Regional Finalists” and will be notified in November 2017 if they have been put forward for second tier assessment. National Panel and the AABC Conservation Panel will then meet and  review all regional finalists to determine the final list of National & International Winners. Applicants will then be notified in December 2017 whether they have been successful Nationally/Internationally (or remain as a regional finalist) and the winners subsequently invited to purchase tickets for the 2018 Awards Ceremony.


When and where is the Award Ceremony?
The Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday 9th March 2018. Venue tbc