THE Theatre Royal, which last year won big in the York Design Awards following a £6 million refurbishment, is now up for a national prize.

It has been shortlisted along with four other restored buildings - Chester's Storyhouse cinema; Sandycombe Lodge, the 'rural retreat' of JMW Turner near the Thames; the Winchester College treasury and museum; and the Thames Lido swimming pool in Reading - for a prestigious Civic Voice national design award.

That award will be decided by a panel of distinguished architects. But the theatre is also up for the Civic Voice's 'people's choice' award - which is decided by a public vote.

For the people's award it is in a head-to-head fight against 11 other schemes in four different categories: its four rivals for the historic buildings title, plus schemes shortlisted for three other categories; housing; new build; and public realm.

But to win, it needs your vote.

Civic Voice is the national charity representing civic and community groups in England. It describes its design awards as 'the people's choice for architecture and the built environment'.

Last year the Theatre Royal won two gongs in the York Design Awards - including The Press People's Award, voted for by readers of The Press.

That makes it a natural fit for the Civic Voice 'people's choice' award, says Janet Hopton, chair of the York Design Awards committee.

Philip Thake, the former chief executive of York Conservation Trust which oversaw the Theatre Royal's £6 million restoration, said winning the York Design Awards had been a great achievement. "But winning a national award like the Civic Voice award would be the icing on the cake!" he said.

York Press arts editor Charles Hutchinson said the theatre would be a worthy winner. "It absolutely is the beating heart of culture in York," he said. "It would be great for it to win an award like this."

To vote for the Theatre Royal, simply visit, then click the heart symbol on the photo of the theatre to register your vote.

But hurry: voting closes on Friday. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at London's Leadenhall on July 12.