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Student wins award for contribution to Coventry’s medieval heritage

A University of Warwick research student has been recognised for his significant contribution to Coventry’s medieval heritage after winning a university award.

Matthew Waters, 28, who is a PhD research student in Engineering at Warwick, won a Warwick Advantage Gold Award for his hard work and commitment to a major renovation project outside of his academic studies.

The Warwick Advantage Awards are given to students in recognition of the time and effort they put into extra-curricular activities, such as societies, sports clubs, campaigns, committees and volunteering, and Matthew won his for his involvement in the Spon End Building Preservation Trust.

With the help of over £2.2m in national lottery funding, Matthew has chaired the Trust since 2005 and restored local historical site, The Weaver’s House, Black Swan Terrace, to its original medieval state. The site will open to the public this weekend as part of the nationwide Heritage Weekend 2009.

Receiving the Warwick Advantage Gold Award was the icing on the cake.

Matthew said: “I got involved with the project after moving to Coventry to pursue my academic studies at the University of Warwick.

“The site had been derelict for over 30 years and I wanted to do something for the community I had become a part of – this seemed like the ideal opportunity!”

He added: “It’s really nice to be recognised by the Warwick Advantage team for all the hard work that’s gone into the project. We hope to draw lots of school children to the medieval house and use it as a major educational resource.

“I’ll be there this weekend when The Weaver’s House opens its doors to the public, donning a weaver’s outfit and showing residents how to loom.”

In addition to the Weaver’s House, the Spon End Building Preservation Trust has restored Black Swan Terrace; a row of cottages built in 1454 and altered and added to ever since, to create an award-winning mixed-use development which includes, community facilities, offices, shops and apartments.

Notes to editors:        

  • Further information on the Spon End Building Preservation Trust (including The Weaver’s House and Black Swan Terrace) can be found at:        
  • Further information on the Warwick Advantage Awards can be found at:        
  • The Warwick Advantage Award is a result of collaboration between the University’s Centre for Student Development and the Students’ Union – the first of its kind nationally         
  • The Warwick Advantage Gold Award acknowledges those students who have put considerable time, passion and dedication into a particular activity over a sustained period of time to receive public recognition for their achievements         
  • Gold award winners require at least a year’s involvement in extra-curricular activities plus a poster presentation at the celebration event whilst Main award winners require a term’s involvement, though in practise many had more than this         
  • The awards ceremony took place recently at the Panorama Suite, Rootes Social Building, University of Warwick

For more information contact: 

Natalie Field, Assistant Press Officer

Communications Office, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW


Tel: +44 (0)24 7657 5601  Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7824 541 142