CBC Looks to Offload Holy Trinity Lease

Fancy a 25 lease on a Grade I listed church, slap bang in the centre of Sunny Colch?

COURSE you do!

The only drawback is that you will need some significant dosh up front to foot the repair bill first.

“We are looking to hear from organisations or groups who feel they could breathe life and a sustainable future into this beautiful historic building in the heart of Colchester.

The preferred option is to enter into a lease with an organisation that has the funds available to carry out any immediate works which will be required for its occupation and ongoing repairs.”

Yep – Colchester Borough Council is keen to offload Holy Trinity Church. Unfortunately the GO4 Cafe moved out in September – because of the cost.

Which leaves CBC owning a landmark building but not prepared spend any money in keeping it ship shape.

Landlords get *such* a bad name, these days.

The brief has been published [pdf] for ‘informal expressions of interest.’

Up for grabs is up to a 25 year lease at peppercorn rent.

Organisations are being invited to pitch bids that will use the space for community purposes.

How about… a religious building?

The not so small print in the CBC doc keeps on SCREAMING at you that:

“The Church requires considerable investment.”

Got that?

No time wasters, etc.

The exact amount of investment is not mentioned.

You may be asking what the chuffers is CBC doing owning a church dating back to 1,000 AD in the town centre?


It was transferred to the Council in 1972. The restrictive covenant means that is must be used as either a museum or for community use.

Maybe firtsite could move there…

The interior is hardly all mod cons. It does boast though a small kitchen, a ladies, a gents and a disabled toilet.

As well as the unspecified building repairs bill, any organisation will also be liable for the £7,900 annual rates.

Plus CBC has volunteered that the electricity bill during the winter months can be between £450-£600 per month.

CBC is not obliged to pimp out the property to the highest bidder. Evidence of cash upfront is needed to show that your organisation is a serious player.

There’s an Open Day on 1 November between midday and 4pm. The deadline for submitting a bid is 5pm on 10 November. The lease is expected to be awarded in December 2017.

We can think of one community organisation that breathed life back into a disused space in the east of the town, before the bulldozers moved in…

That cash upfront clause though is rather restrictive.

Show some flexibility, some imagination and some creative thinking, CBC.

2 thoughts on “CBC Looks to Offload Holy Trinity Lease

  • 16th October 2017 at 6:35 pm

    The other issue is that it is a Grade 1 listed building, The Church Commissioners have an interest in the building and the diocese, but no financial input. GO4 arranged Quantity Surveyor, Architect ideas/reports, and artists impression for a proposal submitted to the council. If accepted it would have taken around 4.5years of process and 6 months of work. GO4 decided it was a major mission shift to undertake fundraising for that work with no guarantee of lease, and thus made the decision to withdraw whilst financially prudent to do so. GO4 contributed to a sink fund (maintenance charge) that amounted to a total of £20,000 during their occupancy. It is doubtful that money was spent in its entirety

  • 16th October 2017 at 10:32 pm

    That’s a rateable value of £7,900, not a rates bill of £7,900, which means that it currently qualifies for 100% rate relief.

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