City looks to crown newest champion

IT'S a club so exclusive it only has three members, but now the hunt is on for a fourth.

The ranks of Edinburgh Award winners so far include only Ian Rankin, JK Rowling and Sir Chris Hoy, but the city council is now launching the search for this year's winner.

Nominations open today to find the 2010 award winner, with members of the public, community organisations and businesses all being asked for their suggestions.

The award was established in 2007 to honour Edinburgh's finest. It is presented once a year to an individual who has made a positive impact on the Capital, and whose work has gained national and international recognition for the city.

The winner will be selected by a panel featuring representatives of all the city council's political parties, voluntary organisations and the Chamber of Commerce.

The panel will be chaired by Lord Provost George Grubb, who said: "The Edinburgh Award is a chance for the city to pay a very special tribute to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the city through their work or achievements in the past 12 months. Whoever is judged to be the winner will be joining a very illustrious club indeed."

To be eligible for the award, nominees must have either been born in Edinburgh or lived in the Capital for the past 12 months. It cannot go to a serving politician, a previous winner, or someone who has already been awarded The Freedom of the City of Edinburgh.

The winner will be presented with an engraved loving cup and then have a mould of their handprints engraved on a flagstone in the quadrangle of the City Chambers.

The handprints of last year's winner, Sir Chris Hoy, were recently put in place after he had moulds taken at Nicolas Boyes Stone Conservation in Morningside. The handprints, which are noticeably bigger than those of his two predecessors, are said to even show the handlebar-induced calluses on his palms.

Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ron Hewitt said: "This award is especially important in the present economic climate, because it reminds us all of the people who are doing good for the city and helping move it forwards.

"I'm excited at the prospect of meeting the nominees and welcome the opportunity to celebrate an important aspect of Edinburgh's commercial and social dynamism.

"What Edinburgh is crying out for at this time is a new Enlightenment and that can only come from the insight and efforts of our most talented people."

To make your nomination for the awards, go to or pick up a form from reception at the City Chambers on the High Street.

Completed forms can be delivered by hand to the City Chambers, or by post to the Lord Provost's Office, also at the City Chambers, marked "The Edinburgh Award".

Nominations close on November 26.