We are delighted to announce that Birmingham-based photographer, Jay Mason-Burns, has been announced as the #LOVEYOURLOCALARCHES photographer of the year 2021 for his striking shot of Floodgate Street that celebrates the city’s network of railway arches.

As ‘#LOVEYOURLOCALARCHES Photographer of the Year 2021’ Birmingham-based Jay Mason-Burns was awarded a cash prize of £1000. The winning image of Floodgate Street will be displayed on the cover of The Arch Company’s ARCH LIFE Magazine in January 2022 and distributed nationwide.

Jay said: “as a lifelong Brummie I love my city and feel proud to share it as part of The Arch Company’s #LOVEYOURLOCALARCHES competition. I work in the cultural sector (at the Lapworth Museum of Geology) and my shot of Floodgate Street’s arches pays homage to industrial heritage of Birmingham. I’ve been coming to Digbeth since I was a child and I’m interested in seeing how it has evolved over the last 40 or so years.”

He added: “As an amateur photographer, it is brilliant to know that my work highlighting my local area will be shared in a public forum – and showing it how I see it, thorough my lens. I love how the thriving industrial presence remains here in Digbeth, but it now also includes a cultural mix of arts and start-up businesses too. I chose to use a night-time shot because to me, it’s when it feels most alive, and captures that balance between old and new.”

The Arch Company’s #LOVEYOURLOCALARCHES Photography Competition was an open call for amateur photographers from across the country to capture their local railway arch network. The competition was created to celebrate talented local photographers and to create images of the striking architecture of the railway arch network, as well as the different ways in which these unique spaces are being used by businesses across a variety of sectors.

Adam Dakin, Managing Director of The Arch Company said: “we chose the winning image as it felt like it encapsulated the energy of Birmingham, with an industrial past remaining at the core of the city today. It’s been a brilliant experience to see how members of the public have captured the significance of the arches – showing both their history and present uses. Our portfolio offers unique spaces in great places and the breadth of images in this competition reinforced the diversity of the railway arch network. The panel agreed that this image reflected this reality in the strongest way.”

The winner was selected by a panel of judges from across the property and creative industries, including:

  • Adam Dakin, Managing Director of The Arch Company
  • Valerie Henry, Director of Marketing at Telereal Trillium
  • Tom Lewith, Founding Director at TDO
  • Jack Dent, Managing & Creative Director at Bryter Digital
  • Charlotte Cywinski, Portfolio Asset Manager at The Arch Company
  • Phil Hulme, Head of Development at Global Street Art

In addition to first place, three further prizes were awarded for category winners:

Unique Spaces

Winner: Edward Shipp won the award for their interior shot of London Beer Factory, Bermondsey

Runner-up: Edward Shipp also won the crowd vote with his of Plonk in London Fields

Capturing Movement

Winner: Dieter Heitzer won the award for their action shot of judo at Commando Temple, Deptford

Runner-up: Mark Hunter won the vote with his picture of light trails outside Upside Down Presents in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Industrial Heritage

Winner: Edward Shipp won a second award for his shot of Scoresby Street, Bermondsey

Runner-up: And again Edward Shipp won the crowd vote with his shot of Druid Street.

All images will be available to view across The Arch Company’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts over the coming weeks.