All Souls Church to get space-age revamp
THIS space age community centre will soon become a reality — with work set to start on the transformation of a run-down church next month.
The launch on Tuesday, September 24, will formally mark the beginning of renovation on the Grade II listed All Souls Church, which has been closed since the mid-20th century.
The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), a national charity protecting historic churches at risk, has worked with The All Souls Crompton Community Centre and Bolton residents to re-develop the Gothic building.
The trust has secured about £4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund the project, which has been in the planning process for the last six years.
All Souls is now set to become a modern, multi-functional community, heritage and meeting venue for the people of Bolton.
Inayat Omarji, chair of the ASCCC, said: “There is a great need for a community hub that brings the whole community together — All Souls will be that place.”
Walter Carefoot & Sons have secured the project as principal contractor and will work closely with Lambert Walker to construct the church’s new facilities.
These will include a large events space, meeting rooms, a specialist social media centre and production suite, offices and a ground floor cafe.
Matthew McKeague, head of regeneration at CCT, was full of praise for those who fought to restore All Souls.
He said: “This project would not have got the go-ahead without the continued support of the local community. It aims to be a flagship project that will turn a disused historic church into a community centre for local people of all faiths or none to enjoy.
“Local feedback has been positive and there is much anticipation for the completion of the project due in autumn 2014.”
Mr McKeague also hoped the project’s development would mark the end of vandalism in the church.
He said: “We anticipate that once the centre is opened to the public, instances of vandalism and theft will hopefully be few and far between.”
To find out more about CCT’s work, go to visitchurches.org.uk/All Souls
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