Suffolk Mind set to leave Quay Place less than four years after multi-million pound redevelopment
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A wellbeing and heritage centre which was awarded a £3.4million lottery grant is to be closed by Suffolk Mind less than four years after opening.
Quay Place, the former St Mary at the Quay Church, underwent a eight year long overhaul before it was re-opened in 2016 for use by the charity.
The centre, which is over 700 years old and Grade II-listed, has been hosting a range of mental wellbeing and heritage sessions as well as the site being offered up for venue hire.
The building itself has been closed for some time during the pandemic.
Now however, Suffolk Mind has announced it will not reopen.
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The building is owned by the Churches Conservation Trust which worked with Suffolk Mind to complete the renovation which was awarded £3.4 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The charity have given a six month notice on the building meaning they will leave by the end of December.
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It attributed the closing of the site to the increasing costs of running the site which had not been met with enough income growth to meet the costs of maintaining a medieval church as well as utility bills and staffing.
Suffolk Mind said that the coronavirus pandemic had also made it reconsider its situation, feeling that it could not afford to subsidise the building from its reserves.
Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “It’s really sad to have to make a decision like this.
“Quay Place has been part of Suffolk Mind for many years now, and it holds a special place in the hearts of many staff, volunteers and people who visited.
“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.
“Suffolk Mind is, first and foremost, a mental health charity. 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.”
Mr Neal said that Suffolk Mind was already looking for alternative accommodation for its services and already had offers from some local organisations.
“We’ll probably have a temporary arrangement for a while as we consider our longer term options,” said Mr Neal.
The Church Conservation Trust were contacted for comment.