St Peter’s, the community venue in Sudbury, is hopeful of gaining almost £2 million in grant funding to help finance a major transformation project at the town centre landmark.
The Friends of St Peter’s (FoSP) recently submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the funding, which, if successful, will enable an extensive programme of renovations.
These will include a new mezzanine floor, a meeting and events area, an improved draft lobby, a new roof, upgrades to the fabric of the structure, an improved kitchen area, a provision of toilets and improved gardens around the building.
It is hoped that the improvements would allow St Peter’s, which was converted from a church to a community venue in 1976, to appeal to the wider community, particularly younger people.
Oliver Forder, chairman of the Friends of St Peter’s (FoSP) Regeneration Group, said: “St Peter’s is a stunning and popular building in the heart of our beautiful town.
“The regeneration will result in a beautiful and modern resource for both existing users and for younger people who currently have limited resources available to them.
“But getting the grant is only the first step. We shall need to raise a further £500,000.
“We shall need the support of all the townspeople of Sudbury to achieve this massive improvement.”
The venue, which is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), currently attracts about 60,000 visitors each year.
Rachel Barrett, regeneration manager at CCT, said: “St Peter’s is a landmark in Sudbury and has been a focal point for centuries. Yet the future use and maintenance of the building requires a more sustainable footing.
“Funding will enable us to secure St Peter’s as a vibrant space that welcomes a diverse local and visitor audience, a place for people to come together and as a building that continues to serve the needs of the town community.”