Frequently Asked Questions

How will you raise the money to buy the building?

We’re currently exploring various different funding options. We have been invited to apply to the Community Ownership Fund after submitting a successful Expression of Interest. We are also preparing a bid for Heritage Lottery funding, and hope to apply for further money from the Architectural Heritage Fund once we have completed their Project Viability Appraisal. In addition to this we are planning on running a crowdfunding campaign – look out for more information about this soon!


Isn’t it going to be too expensive to renovate it?

The £15,000 we secured from the Architectural Heritage Fund has enabled us to engage a team of architects and surveyors to explore the cost of renovating the building. Their initial impressions are that the church is in reasonably good condition, but we will know more once the condition survey is complete. One of the key goals of funding organisations we are working with is to improve the condition and accessibility of heritage buildings: the fact that the church is Grade !! listed is a sign of its significant architectural heritage, something which will help us secure the funds we need.


How will you make sure it’s affordable and accessible for all?

We are really keen that people do not feel excluded from the building because of their economic status or any other characteristic. We are looking at different ways to make the activities and facilities we offer affordable – for example sliding payment scales, skill swaps or subsidised groups. We will build this into our business plan to make sure it’s economically sustainable.

We are also focused on accessibility for people with physical disabilities, people with different sensory needs and people with caring responsibilities. This will be factored into the design brief as well as scheduling considerations, and where there are additional costs involved we will seek additional pots of funding to cover those.


How can you make sure you’re listening to people from all sectors of the community?

Our consultation process has been designed with the goal of reaching a wide cross-section of the local community. Our questionnaire has so far been filled in by almost 200 people, and around 50 people attended our two face to face consultation events. In addition to this we’ve been reaching out to local groups and visiting them in their spaces to talk about our ideas and get their input. This is an ongoing process, and we’re working with our advisory group to reach as many people as possible.


Does the town really need another venue? How can you avoid doubling up on facilities we already have?

We believe that we can create something quite unique in the Methodist Church building which will not overlap with anything else currently on offer in the town. Feedback from our consultation indicates that people feel there is a real lack of community space that meets their needs and offers somewhere they can feel welcome and inspired.

We are talking to a wide range of people around the town, including other local businesses and community leaders, and will continue to do this as the project progresses to make sure we are complementing other services rather than competing with them.


How are you going to involve young people?

We really want to make sure that people of all ages feel welcome in the space we create, and are reaching out to young people specifically to find out about what they would like to see there. We are having conversations with youth groups, and are planning to develop a youth advisory board going forwards. A creative approach to education and training is a vital part of our vision, and we hope this will empower the young people in our community.


Is this project going to be environmentally sustainable?

Environmental sustainability is another key aspect of our vision for the church, and will be threaded through every stage of the project. We will be looking to use local and sustainable materials wherever possible, and to find solutions to lighting and heating that reduce our carbon footprint. We will also be finding ways to encourage people to use sustainable transport to access the building – walking, cycling, car sharing and public transport.

Beyond this, we hope that the hub we create will inspire people to collaborate to find creative solutions to the climate and ecological crisis and build the resilience we need to face coming challenges together.


What are you going to do about parking?

Whilst we will be encouraging people to use alternative methods of transport wherever the can, we recognise that this will not be possible for everyone. We are exploring the potential of creating a parking area adjacent to the church and will update you as more details of this emerge.


If you have any other questions then please get in touch! You can email us on or use the form below.


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