Quay Place owners looking for new tenants
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
The owners of a converted Ipswich church say they are continuing to work to ensure the building stays in public use.
The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) which owns Quay Place in College Street was left looking for new tenants after it was announced in the summer that the building's former occupants, Suffolk Mind, would be moving out.
The Grade II-listed venue had formerly been used to host a range of mental wellbeing and heritage sessions as well as being offered up for venue hire.
The building was closed throughout the first lockdown but not long after the country moved out of initial restrictions, the charity announced it would not be reopening the site.
At the time, Suffolk Mind said that it was not able to pay the continuing costs of maintaining the medieval building along with the financial impact of the coronavirus.
“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved, but also sad that we haven’t been able to get the costs and income to a place where we can keep Quay Place open," said Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind in June.
"We have a responsibility to help as many people as we can in a way that is financially viable and sustainable and that makes the biggest difference.”
The CCT said it had been disappointed by the charity's news but remained committed to ensuring the building would continue to serve the community.
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“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," said Peter Aiers, chief executive of The Churches Conservation Trust.
The mental health charity had to give the CCT six months notice on the building, which runs out at the end of this month.
This week, the CCT confirmed that it had been continuing to investigate "new uses" and "new tenants" for the building.
At the time of Suffolk Mind's announcement, the building had been open less than four years following major redevelopment work.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund provided over £3million for the restoration of the 600-year-old building, formerly known as St Mary's on the Quay, which took eight years to complete.