Vincents Solicitors has provided legal support for a land sale by a St Annes Church. The Church Road Methodist Church sold a 1,221 sq m plot of land to Great Places Housing.
The money raised will help towards funding the redevelopment of the church site, which included several buildings in addition to the church itself, to create a new Community Hub.
The ambitious £320,000 project will see old structures demolished, new extensions added, space reworked and remodelled.
The new facility, which is set to open early in 2019, will be home to the hugely popular Wesley’s Café which was trialled last year, providing healthy affordable meals, classes and a chance for people to come together. The Hub will also house a community space, meeting rooms and the Fylde foodbank, which is currently in temporary premises.
Reverend Stephen Heath, minister at the Church Road Methodist Church, said: “We’re delighted the plot, which didn’t feature in our redevelopment plans, was able to be sold to help fund this amazing project. Huge thanks to Vincents for their detailed and patient work in getting it sorted, it will be great to see the plot used to provide affordable new homes for local people.
“The Community Hub and Wesley’s Café are a huge investment for the church, but it will be worth it. Fylde Foodbank has run from the church since its Trustees saw the growing need for its service. We also trialled the Wesley’s Café and found there was enormous interest from people wanting to buy and make, healthy affordable meals.
“I see The Hub being used by everyone, from the toddler groups and community choirs which already meet at the church, to new youth groups and senior clubs we’ll be able to host. The café itself will not only provide refreshment but will become a place where we can try to tackle the issues facing our community such as social isolation, food poverty, and joblessness.”
The plot, which previously housed a day centre for older people, is set to become four houses and six apartments for affordable rent. Work is already underway on both projects, with demolition and foundations having been completed for both by main contractor Tyson Construction.
James Yates, commercial property solicitor for Vincents, said: “It was important to get this sale right for the Methodist Church, as the future of the project depended on it. It was particularly complex as the sale involved portioning off part of the site, while the church retained the rest, but we worked closely with Reverend Heath to secure the best outcome. It’s great to see the project is now underway and we’re looking forward to watching it progress and getting involved with helping out at The Hub when it’s all up and running.”
Fundraising is ongoing to cover the full cost the redevelopment. Members of the church completed a 400-mile Six Counties bike ride this summer, donating an additional £6,000, and the team is hoping to stage other events over the coming months.
Anyone wanting to find out more about the project, to provide support or fundraising, can contact Rev Stephen Heath on 07711 917 955.