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Public invited to give feedback on latest plans for regeneration of St Peter's in Sudbury

The latest plans for an ambitious multi-million pound regeneration of St Peter’s in Sudbury will be unveiled this weekend, with visitors urged to have their say as the project continues to move forward.

A public consultation event hosted by the Friends of St Peter’s and the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) is taking place on Market Hill on Saturday, when architectural designs of the proposed £2.8 million upgrades for the venue will be on display throughout the day.

Drawn up by Malcolm Fryer Architects, whose staff will be on hand to answer questions from attendees, the designs intend to shed fresh light on the planned state-of-the-art gallery and exhibition space, new kitchen and toilet facilities, a restored entrance area, revamped gardens and repairs to the roof.

Alli Burke is the development officer for St Peter's church in Sudbury, a position funded by The Churches Conservation Trust...Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (20804788)
Alli Burke is the development officer for St Peter's church in Sudbury, a position funded by The Churches Conservation Trust...Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (20804788)

Alli Burke, development officer for St Peter’s at the CCT, told the Free Press they are keen to collect as many people’s views on the updated drawings as possible, before they are submitted as part of a formal planning application.

“St Peter’s has always been a vital part of Sudbury life and it’s important to us that the whole community has the opportunity to play a part in this exciting project to help breathe new life into this much-loved building,” she said.

“We’ve really enjoyed working with Malcolm Fryer Architects to draw up the plans, and now encourage members of the community to pop in on the day to take a look at the designs and give us their feedback on them.”

The project is currently in the first phase of its application for a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Campaigners are still working towards reaching their match-funding goal by March 2020, with grants already received from Sudbury Town Council and Babergh District Council, in order to move to the next stage.

The renovations are part of a wider effort to enable a wider array of events, such as music, arts and community occasions, at St Peter’s, which was converted into a community venue after shutting as a church in the 1970s.

It is hoped that the improved facilities will help attract greater numbers of visitors to the venue each year, with a particular focus on drawing in more young people.

Oliver Forder, Sudbury town councillor and chairman of the Friends of St Peter’s, added: “The plans developed by the architects with our input are very exciting.

“They represent a crucial step forward in the development of the regeneration project.

“We look forward to sharing them with the Sudbury community and to receiving their reaction to them.”

Following the consultation on Saturday, St Peter’s will be staging a commemorative event on Sunday to mark Remembrance Day.

The venue will be open from 11am to provide a space for visitors to reflect and pay their respects, while remembrance music and poetry is also being performed throughout the day, including an organ recital by Roger Green at 2pm.

During the day, a display of poppies will be featured inside St Peter’s to match the large cascading tribute on the tower, while The Bridge Project will be operating a pop-up café.

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