Plans for £100,000 repair work to reopen disused church
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
A disused church could see more than £100,000 in repair works, as part of plans for the regeneration of a town centre.
The future of St Peters Church was discussed at a special meeting held by Thetford Town Council on Tuesday, September 20.
The church, located on White Hart Street, was purchased by the town council back in 2009 and in 2018 a grant of £38,000 was awarded to complete urgent work on the building.
At Tuesday’s meeting, it was discussed that the council is set to apply for further funding of around £100,000 from Historic England, along £45,000 from the council, to complete repairs to the North roof and tower.
This is part of a project to reopen the church to the public and ensure the “economic regeneration” of White Hart Street.
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Terry Jermy, town councillor and chairman of the Amenities Land and Property (ALP) committee said: “St Peter’s Church is an important part of Thetford’s heritage which is held in high esteem by local residents.
“I am therefore delighted that Thetford Town Council has agreed to allocate funding to undertake this important maintenance work on site.
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“I hope that the funding that we have released will be enhanced by Historic England, in recognition of this building’s historic importance.”
As part of presentation at the meeting, the council’s aims for the church include ensuring the building is wind and waterproof, it is open to the public and a long-term management structure is developed.
Earlier in the year, the council agreed to a “meanwhile use strategy” which will enable them to work with local groups and businesses to find the best long-term use for the church, which is “socially and financially beneficial to the church and council”.
Mr Jermy added: “The recent consultation exercise undertaken by the council was well supported with lots of good ideas put forward about possible future uses for the site.
“I am keen that the council’s Amenities Committee discuss the results of this consultation and consider future uses alongside the restoration work that will take place.”
The council’s next step will be to secure external funding for church’s “pilot” phase, with hopes that by 2023 a final use of the building will be decided.