Ipswich’s Quay Place rescued from demolition by Suffolk charities lands place on award shortlist

Quay Place from the outside. Picture: ANDY MARSHALL

Quay Place from the outside. Picture: ANDY MARSHALL - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk medieval church turned community centre which was saved from demolition by two charities is in the running for a top award.

Quay Place Wellbeing and Heritage Centre in Ipswich has been shortlisted for an award - Willow Neal

Quay Place Wellbeing and Heritage Centre in Ipswich has been shortlisted for an award - Willow Neal doing some brass rubbings. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The Grade II listed church of St Mary-at-the-Quay in Ipswich was transformed into state-of-the-art wellbeing centre Quay Place last year thanks to £5.1million of donated cash.

Just seven months on, Quay Place has been shortlisted for the Civic Voice Design Awards.

The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) and Suffolk Mind, who teamed up to rescue the at-risk church nine years ago, were told the good news yesterday.

CCT’s director of regeneration Matthew McKeague said: “We are extremely pleased to have been shortlisted for this Civic Voice award.

Former High Sheriff of Ipswich William Kendall officially opens Quay Place, November 2016. Picture:

Former High Sheriff of Ipswich William Kendall officially opens Quay Place, November 2016. Picture: IONA HODGSON - Credit: Iona Hodgson

“We believe Quay Place is a very important project, one that will help demonstrate the vitally important links between historic buildings, good architecture, active communities and better health – principles at the heart of the civic movement.”

The awards recognise buildings, places and spaces that are loved by their communities.

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Projects are shortlisted for their cutting-edge designs and positive impact on people living in the surrounding area.

Now a wellbeing and heritage centre used by community groups, businesses and residents from across Suffolk, Quay Place is the only building in the east of England to land a place on the list.

Suffolk Mind director Sue Gray said: “Quay Place connects health, wellbeing and heritage in an inspirational way – as you walk into Quay Place you immediately feel the peace and see the beauty – this is a very tangible way for our wide variety of visitors to experience this amazing medieval building now restored for use as a community space for the 21st century and beyond.

“Our partnership with CCT has enabled us to reach a wider audience with our vision to improve the mental wellbeing of the people of Suffolk and bring an historic building back in to daily use. We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award.”

A total of 18 schemes from across England have been shortlisted by an expert judging panel. Treetop walkways, hotels, monuments and remembrance centres also make an appearance on the shortlist.

Go to the Quay Place website for more details and information.

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