Phase 2: Restoration of the Tower and Spire.
Good News! Early in November, we received confirmation of a grant award of £75,000 from the National Churches Trust. Previously we have obtained grants totalling almost £87,600 from English Heritage. Together with the £80,000 we already had in the bank (half from gifts surplus to Phase 1), that adds up to £242,600. And, while the total cost of the project is around £290,000, we are now confident that we can recoup the VAT levied on this project through the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme (since the work represents repairs to a listed building) of around £48,500.
So, the really good news is that the cost of Phase 2 can be, and will be, met without using any of the gifts donated by members of the church family at our Appeal Day last May. So all those gifts can be used for Phase 3. Hallelujah!
Phase 3: Renovation of Ancillary Buildings.
Now that work on Phase 2 is underway (and paid for!), the focus is on Phase 3. Last Spring, the PCC appointed OMI Architects to draw up potential schemes to upgrade our ancillary accommodation. Interactions with the Buildings Steering Group and PCC over the summer have led OMI to propose an imaginative draft scheme which was positively received by the PCC in November. This scheme is now being shared with the Diocese, city planners and specialist engineers, quantity surveyors etc so as to gain a better idea of its feasibility – and cost! The conclusions will be discussed by the PCC in January.
Thereafter, the draft scheme will be described at an open meeting of the congregation in January/February, when church members will be invited to make comments, criticisms, suggestions, before the final scheme is submitted by OMI for formal planning permission.