St Peter’s in Sudbury could undergo major regeneration if lottery grant application is successful

St Peter's Church, Market Hill, Sudbury. Picture: GREGG BROWN

St Peter's Church, Market Hill, Sudbury. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A former Sudbury church could be transformed and opened up for use by the wider community if a lottery grant of around £2million is awarded.

The groups responsible for St Peter’s Church, on Market Hill, have submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to assist in a major regeneration of the building.

A decision on the funding application of just under £2m is expected sometime in March. A further £500,000 will be needed for the project to get the green light.

Planned improvements include; A contemporary internal new build at the west end, providing an improved draft lobby, and a mezzanine floor, meeting and events area, the provision of toilets, an upgrade to the kitchen facilities, the opening of the south chancel, improved gardens around the building, and a new roof and other upgrades to the fabric of the building.

The redundant church was last used for worship in 1971 and opened as a community hall a few years later.

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Oliver Forder, chairman of the Friends of St Peter’s (FoSP) Regeneration Group, said: “St Peter’s is a stunning and popular building in the heart of our beautiful town.

“The regeneration will result in a beautiful modern resource for both existing users and for younger people who currently have limited resources available to them.

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“But getting the grant is only the first step. We shall need to raise a further £500,000. We shall need the support of all the townspeople of Sudbury to achieve this massive improvement to our town.”

St Peter’s already attracts around 60,000 people each year and is one of the most visited redundant churches in the country.

It is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) – the national charity protecting historic churches at risk.

Rachel Barrett, regeneration manager at the CCT, said: “St Peter’s is a landmark in Sudbury and has been a community focal point for centuries. Yet the future use and maintenance of the building requires a more sustainable footing.

“Funding will enable us to secure St Peter’s as a vibrant space that welcomes a diverse local and visitor audience, a place for people to come together and as a building that continues to serve the needs of the community.”

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