Joint winners of annual EBDA Award

Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and the Cornhill Village Shop and Café, joint winners of the 2017 EBDA Award, were presented with framed certificates by Mayor of Berwick Gregah Roughead at a ceremony in Berwick town hall.

Thursday, 29th March 2018, 2:00 pm
Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and the Cornhill Village Shop and Café, joint winners of the 2017 EBDA Award.

Peter Taylor, director of Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, was presented with the award by Coun Catherine Seymour, who said its work had established Berwick as a pre-eminent centre for visual arts.

Lynda Waite, joint owner of Cornhill Village Shop, accepted the award from Jeanna Swan, Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire, who said it had ‘re-written the script’ and offered an extraordinary service to the community.

Chairing the ceremony, Trustee Edward Cawthorn referred to the achievements of the Eastern Borders Development Association – the forerunners of the Award – in the 1950s and 1960s, in attracting new industries to the eastern borders and north Northumberland at a time when the area’s indigenous industries, farming and fishing, were suffering a decline.

EBDA was a real Borderlands Initiative, some 70 years before the term was reinvented by government. The organisation had achieved considerable success in stemming rural depopulation before it was wound up in 1975, when its remaining funds were used to make an annual award – the oldest of its kind in the area - to recognise local enterprise in the social and leisure fields as well as the industrial and commercial sectors.

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The two Awards for 2017 demonstrated the wide-ranging nature of the award criteria.

In her citation for the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Coun Seymour referred to the vision of its founders ‘to transform the town by creating cinematic spaces in the subterranean chambers and military installations that formed part of Berwick’s Elizabethan Walls’.

The inaugural festival in 2005 built on these foundations , using the fabric of the town as its screen and now commissioned a range of works that often went on from Berwick to appear in other international festivals and venues; projects, workshops and educational work which had established Berwick as a pre-eminent centre for visual arts demonstrated the town’s enthusiastic commitment to the arts in general. Peter Taylor, director, accepted the Award on behalf of the Festival.

Mrs Swan, read the Citation for Cornhill Village Shop and Café. At a time when rural shops were closing by the week in the face of changing economic conditions, the owners of Cornhill Village Shop and café had ‘re-written the script’ and offered an extraordinary service to their community. The shop was the centre of village life, providing not only everyday essentials but also a first class bakery, delicatessen and café, as well as post office and bank agencies and a thriving take-away trade for passing customers. It was the hub of the village, running and supporting fund-raising initiatives, organising refreshments for events such as the Flodden ride-out, providing Christmas food hampers for the elderly and a home delivery service. In the face of the decline of the traditional village shop, the Cornhill initiative was a remarkable success story.