Lincoln’s greatest achievements of 2011

— Lincoln has seen its fair share of triumphs this year, with a number of the city’s businesses, individuals and services gaining recognition and scooping awards. As if you needed an excuse to be proud of our city, we take a look back at some of the year’s biggest successes.

No. 5 in world for Lincoln coffee shop

Coffee Aroma on Guildhall Street was ranked fifth best coffee shop in the world by an esteemed coffee industry website, Cosy Coffee Shops. The site, which reviews independent coffee houses worldwide, pays particular mind to those serving ethical coffee in welcoming environments. In the past, Coffee Aroma has also been recognised by The Guardian and The Independent, amongst others.

Lincoln College takes the gold

Lincoln College was granted the Gold Award by Investors in People in January, after passing 165 of 169 standards as well as the basic 39 needed to be recognised by the organisation. It was the first college in the county and the third in the region to receive the award.

Top 10 spot for Lincoln guest house

Creston Villa Guest House on St. Catherines was awarded eighth place in the Travellers’ Choice awards at the start of the year. Travellers on the TripAdvisor site, who run the awards, said they “couldn’t fault it”, and “it’s as good as it gets”. The winners are determined based on a combination of TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index and traveller ratings of specific popularity attributes. A TripAdvisor spokesperson said that Creson Villa Guest house was “a worthy winner” of the accolade.

County’s roads some of best nationwide

Lincolnshire’s roads were named as some of the best in the country, according to data released by the Department of Transport. Although the overall condition of England’s roads had deteriorated slightly at the end of 2010, Lincolnshire’s condition “score” was up at this time for the county’s A roads. The Lincolnshire County Council had an extra £2.7 million to spend on roads this year – have you noticed an improvement?

Top toilets for Lincoln public

The City of Lincoln Council’s Public Conveniences Team were number one In-House Cleaning Team of the Year at the Loo of the Year awards this year, following an unannounced visit by an inspector who judged the loos on signage, decorations and cleanliness, as well as other criteria. Three of the council-run public toilets were also given five star status, placing them amongst the finest in the country.

Two medals for Lincoln swimmer

A Lincoln swimmer, Hayley Williams, made a splash at an international competition in March, taking home two silver medals. She represented England at the WISE School Swimming International Competition in Dublin, Ireland, taking second place in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke.

Lincoln rated five stars for cleanliness

There was further recognition for Lincoln’s public spaces in March, after the city was named the third cleanest city in the UK at the Clean Britain Awards, only beaten by Truro and Nottingham, and being awarded the top rating of five stars for cleanliness for the second time. Inspectors from the British Cleaning Council rated everything from the amount of litter and chewing gum on the streets to the provision of litter bins and the condition of street furniture. The city was described as having “excellent standards”, achieving a 100% standard rating in several areas.

Lincolnshire food finest in Britain

A poll carried out by Love British Food found that Lincolnshire was Britain’s Favourite Food Spot in September. The county took 39.6% of the vote, closely followed by Cornwall with 35.4%. Mary Powell, from Tastes of Lincolnshire, said: “We have the freshest and tastiest local food – premium sausages, delectable pork pies and the famous Lincolnshire plumbread, best enjoyed with Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese. Add to that fields full of the finest vegetables, and what more could a food lover ask for?”

Best regional design for Lincoln museum

The Collection has been crowned the East Midlands’ favourite contemporary building, mainly due to an exhibition that took place in the museum by the Royal Institute of British Architects called fifty50. The exhibition was held in venues across the region, and showed visitors’ images and information on fifty contemporary buildings. Kathleen Watt, author of Fifty buildings, 50 years. Modern Architecture in the East Midlands, said: “The landmark building not only compliments the archaeological objects it contains, but it also harmonises well with the scale and character of the medieval city.”

Steep Hill is best street in Britain

Steep Hill won the title of 2012 Great Street at November’s Urbanism Awards, which recognises the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments in Britain. The street, which hosts a number of events, entertainment and independent and entrepreneurial retail outlets, dates back to Roman times as a connection between the Castle and the town. Many Lincolnites treasure it, saying, “It’s nice to see a city keeping its character” and it’s “absolutely lovely”.

Photo: Melody Shanahan-Kluth