LITTLEHAMPTON’S Long Bench can now rest on its own laurels after winning two prestigious awards in competition with leading projects at home and overseas.
The stretched seafront seat was presented with the Recognising Excellence in the Built Environment award and the 2012 Special Award for Community Impact and Engagement from the Civic Trust at a ceremony in Edinburgh on Friday.
Arun District Council cabinet member for economic and cultural development and architects Je Ahn and Maria Smith, of the bench’s designers Studio Weave, received the awards for the 324-m seafront attraction.
Mr Dingemans said: “We are very proud of our Long Bench in Littlehampton. We were up against some of the best architecture in the world in one of the most famous cities, so to win was truly incredible. I was very proud to carry back these awards to Littlehampton.”
The bench was funded by a £450,000 grant from the Sea Change Programme run by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and by Gordon Roddick of the Roddick Foundation, in memory of his late wife Dame Anita, founder of The Body Shop.
The community award recognised the involvement of pupils from the former Connaught Junior School in working with Studio Weave on the design, and also the bench’s popularity with people who have bought engraved slats with personal messages on them.
Mr Dingemans also praised East Beach Café owner Jane Wood, whose support for the bench was crucial to its development, former Arun employee Clare Potter and her economic and cultural development team for managing the building process, and Mr Roddick for his generous donation.
The bench was one of 52 projects to receive awards out of a total of 306 national and international entries submitted for judging, including public spaces, buildings and public art.