And so with no great surprise, Colchester Borough Council has awarded a 25 year peppercorn lease to North East Essex MIND for Holy Trinity Church in the town centre.
The organisation plans to use the space as a community hub.
You may remember how CBC invited expressions of interest towards the end of last year. This was after the G04 Cafe sadly had to vacate the building due to costs.
Part of the proposed lease will require MIND to carry out extensive repairs to the CBC owned building out of its own pocket. There are also warning of heating costs of up to £600 per month.
A Freedom of Information request submitted by The Chronic revealed that three groups submitted applications to take control of the Grade I listed building:
“Mid and North East Essex MIND
The Orthodox Parish of Saint Helen of Colchester and
Tom Wood, New Monasticism.”
Our FOI also flushed out some more details of the application by MIND:
“Proposed use: To develop the Church into a community hub in partnership with Colchester Borough Council. To become a building that is accessible to all groups in the neighbourhood. To provide a high quality centre with cost effective services in response to changing community needs.”
The final decision was made by the… ‘holy trinity’ of Cllr Mark Cory, Cllr Tina Bourne, Cllr Tim Young.
The Panel was asked by a jobbing CBC press officer to come up with another bland quote to fill some space:
“We are delighted that we have found an organisation that shares our desire to bring this historic building back into use. Not only to safeguard its conservation and cultural heritage, but to open its doors to new uses and activities as a community space for years to come.
The new lease ensures that the Holy Trinity Church, which is such a part of Colchester’s heritage, remains an important part of our future.”
Sadly we never did get to find out more about the New Monasticism…