Charity needs £150,000 to buy and transform former church into community hub
A Sudbury charity needs a further £150,000 to buy and transform a former town church into a community hub.
Sudbury Hive, based at The Croft, is hopeful of purchasing the Christ Church United Reformed Church building and adjoining Friars Hall - but requires more funds to bring the project to fruition.
You may also want to watch:
The charity has various grant applications in place but needs to match the funding to be in a position to make a competitive bid for the building, which is on the market for £650,000.
MORE: Sudbury charity receives grant to develop United Reformed Church and Friars Hall plans
The Grade II-listed church, in School Lane, closed in January 2018 due to falling attendances, which has left Sudbury with very few venues for hire.
With St Peter's set to close in the near future for its major regeneration project, community groups in the town are concerned about the lack of venues for hire.
Sudbury Hive wants to turn the venue into a multi-use space for community groups to use.
Lesley Ford-Platt, Hive trustee, said the charity is hopeful it can raise the money needed.
"We met the Eastern Synod United Reformed Church [owners] a few months ago to give them an understanding of what we're trying to achieve for the community," she said.
"We have got various grant applications on the table but we have got to match fund them and we know we need another £150,000.
"With St Peters set to close for refurbishment, where are these groups going to go?
"A lot of community groups can't afford commercial rates.
"It would be a real asset to the wider community here.
"I know a lot of people love the building and want to see it in use. It's been closed two winters already."
MORE: Sudbury St Peter's moves step closer to revamp with grant boost
Hive is a charity that helps local community groups through networking opportunities, offering free training courses and the sharing of expertise, and has members from over 40 groups and organisations including the Citizen's Advice Bureau, Kernos Centre, Eden-Rose Coppice Trust and Sudbury Area Cancer Support Group.
For more information about the charity and to donate, visit www.sudburyhive.org
For more information on the church, which was first constructed in 1838, visit the website of Cambridge-based estate agents Cheffins at www.cheffins.co.uk