Babergh District Council has approved a cash injection of £100,000 to help regenerate St Peter’s Church – to create a welcoming self-sustaining venue at the heart of Sudbury that provides enriching cultural and social experiences, bring its community together and deliver a lasting legacy for the area.
Cabinet Members meeting agreed, on 7th march, to allocate funds from Business Rates Retention finance to support St Peter’s Regeneration Project – significantly helping the centre in meeting their National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) match funding target of £500,000 by March 2020. If successful the overall project value, with National Lottery Heritage Fund support, will be in the region of £2.5m.
St Peter’s will be a fantastic cultural venue based in the iconic grade 1 listed St Peter’s Church in the heart of Sudbury’s town centre and is the largest public community and events space in the town. It already attracts up to 60,000 visitors each year and once the project has been completed looks to attract a further 40,000 visitors.
The project, which include repairs, new essential facilities and refurbishment works, supported by the Sudbury Vision for Prosperity programme, looks to further develop the centre into a thriving community space, providing a space for families, young people and businesses as well as creating employment opportunities and attracting further investment into the town centre
The improved facilities will allow St Peter’s to offer a wider range of venue options suitable for all age groups and commercial use, and enable a wider variety of events and activities for the whole community – including the opportunity to showcase the heritage of Sudbury, creating an enhanced visitor experience for local residents and tourists alike.
As well as providing a place for the community to meet, exchange ideas and share memories, the regeneration project will also create new opportunities for employment, volunteering and developing young people’s skills and experience.
Cllr John Ward said; “This is a wonderful project and we are thrilled to be able to support it. The regeneration looks to not only breathe fresh life into a well known and loved building but also into the community it serves.
“Our market towns need support to attract visitors whilst also supporting residents. These planned improvements will open up the venue up to a much wider variety of events and functions that will really being the community together.”
CCT Development Officer for the project, Allison Burke, said “We are extremely grateful to Babergh for this very generous grant. It will significantly help with the need to meet our match funding target for the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and help us to unlock funding from other potential funders.”
The Regeneration Project has been supported by the Churches Conservation Trust and the Friends of St Peter’s and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.