Quay Place owners want to keep ‘fantastic’ building open to the community
PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 June 2020
The owners of Quay Place have admitted they are disappointed by Suffolk Mind’s decision tomove out but say they are determined to get the ‘fantastic’ building back into use.
The Churches Conservation Trust had spent almost a decade working with the charity to renovate and reopen the former church for use by the people of Ipswich as a wellbeing and heritage centre.
However, after four years in the centre Suffolk Mind announced on Monday that it would be moving away from the site at the end of its notice period in December, leaving the renovated building vacant.
Suffolk Mind said one of their main reasons for leaving was the cost of maintaining the medieval church building, close to the Ipswich Waterfront, as well as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Churches Conservation Trust said it was saddened by the charity’s decision to leave but remained committed to reopening the space to serve the Ipswich community.
Peter Aiers, chief executive of The Churches Conservation Trust said: “We are disappointed that Suffolk Mind have issued notice on their lease of Quay Place, after so many years of working together.
“This building remains a fantastic venue and we will be working to ensure that it is open once more and serving the people of Ipswich as it has for 600 years.
“We would like to be in touch with all those who operate out of the building at present to assess how we might work together in the future.”
The National Lottery Heritage Fund provided over £3 million for the restoration of the building.
On Tuesday they confirmed they would not be looking for a return of the grant money.
A spokesman for The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “We are aware that Suffolk Mind have decided to end their occupation of the building.
“In this very tough climate we are sympathetic to the challenges faced by Suffolk Mind and we are in conversation with both them and The Churches Conservation Trust to see what support we can offer.
“It is early days but we will be working with both organisations to ensure that this important building is maintained and can be found a new use to benefit the people of Ipswich and the wider Suffolk area.
“We have no current plans to look for the return of any grant.”