New conference centre to be created
A NEW £750,000 conference centre is to be created in one of the most historic churches in Ipswich town centre.The Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich today submitted a planning application to turn St Nicholas Church into a major community centre.
A NEW £750,000 conference centre is to be created in one of the most historic churches in Ipswich town centre.
The Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich today submitted a planning application to turn St Nicholas Church into a major community centre.
The church became redundant in 1985 and for 16 years was in the care of the Ipswich Historic Churches Trust.
The diocese bought it two years ago for a symbolic £1 and announced its plans to bring it back into use.
You may also want to watch:
Diocesan House moved into Churchgates House, next to St Nicholas, that year – but it has taken two years for discussions with planners and conservation officials to reach the point where a formal planning application could be lodged with the borough.
The church itself dates from the 14th century. Its chief claim to fame is that Cardinal Wolsey was baptised there – his father owned a butcher's shop just around the corner.
- 1 Car crashes into cafe closing Ipswich road
- 2 Ipswich man charged with dangerous driving following Audi crash in Norwich Road
- 3 Person taken to hospital after collision in Sainsbury's car park in Ipswich
- 4 Women facing prison after admitting robbery in Ipswich
- 5 New special school planned for former BT site
- 6 Rolling road block put in place on A14 after concerns for safety
- 7 Men sentenced for 'vicious' attack in Ipswich churchyard
- 8 Ipswich traffic measure 'on its way out' as petition launched
- 9 Look inside beautiful £1.2million home with a pool near Felixstowe
- 10 Kenyan school chums meet by 'unbelievable chance' at Suffolk village fete
A modern glass sided building will link St Nicholas' to Churchgates House, acting as reception area for both buildings as well as providing a place of meeting open to all.
"The 'hub' is cleverly designed to have as little contact with the fabric of the church as possible and to ensure that the ancient churchyard is not unduly disturbed," said diocesan secretary Nicholas Edgell.
"All interested heritage bodies have been briefed on our plans during a long consultation period."
The centre, costing £750,000, will generate income from lettings and enable part of the diocesan office building to be let, reducing central administration costs.
With plans to refurbish the sanctuary and create a new side chapel which will double as a meeting room, the centre will also provide a permanent home for the Suffolk Ecumenical Resource Library and Revelations bookshop.
On occasions it will also host the Diocesan Synod.
Diocesan officials are hopeful that there will be few problems in obtaining planning permission after extensive talks with officials.
Work should start later this year, or possibly early next year, and the diocese hopes the centre should be fully operational by Easter next year.