Town’s meeting hall attracts civic award for design

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Sudbury Quakers’ newly-refurbished meeting hall in Friars Street has won an award from the Sudbury Society.

The Friends’ Meeting House used to be easily missed by passers-by as it was behind a tall hedge and a long way from the road.

But after a major project, paid for with part of a £250,000 legacy, the hall is more noticeable and the entrance stands out.

The design and construction is down to Sudbury architect James Blackie and Sudbury builder John Younger, who have collectively won the Alan Phillips Award for their work.

On Saturday, Lord Phillips will present the award – named after his late father who was founder of the Sudbury Society – to the two men at the meeting house in recognition of their outstanding work.

Sudbury Society spokeswoman Anne Grimshaw said: “The Alan Phillips Awards were initiated in 2003 to recognise good design in the town.

“Design standards have declined and the society has decided to make one-off awards to the rare examples of good design. This started in 2011 with the former Corn Exchange, which is now the library, for its fine refurbishment.

“It is hoped that these awards encourage building owners to commission good design, at all levels, to match the town’s great architectural heritage.”

For Mr Blackie, of Tricker Blackie Associates in Station Road, this is his second Alan Phillips Award. The previous one was for a house in Straw Lane, and on the corner of School Street, Sudbury.

He said: “This was a complete surprise and I am very honoured to receive this award with John Younger, a builder who is part of the heart and soul of Sudbury.”

Mr Blackie won an award for the design of The Quay Theatre in 1980.