A £500,000 appeal is set to be launched to secure the future of a community space in the centre of Stamford.
The trustees of the All Saints’ and St John’s Centre on the corner of Scotgate and West Street say fundraising is vital to securing the future of the building as a meeting facility for the community.
The trustees have already had to carry out essential repairs to the roof and the wall surrounding the building but say more work is needed inside and out.
Trustee Rebecca Goff said plans were still at the very early stages and the first step was to find out what the community thought and whether people could get involved.
Rebecca said: “In order to maintain it as a community space, we need to raise some funds so we can be in a position where we can secure its future.
“The centre is already widely used in the community and we want to make sure that the space is fully utilised.
“We want to maintain the building and make sure it is at the heart of the community.”
She said the plans included a complete overhaul of the building, which requires structural repairs, and the trustees have discussed the possibility of installing a mezzanine floor to increase office space.
The trustees hope to raise the majority of the money needed through grant applications and their first port of call will be the Heritage Lottery Fund, although they will also be organising fundraising events.
The building was the former St John’s School and opened in 1861. It closed as a school in the 1970s and was handed over to the church trust by the building’s owners Lincolnshire County Council, which has been kept informed of the trustees ambitious plans.
Since then the hall has become a vital meeting place and is used by not only the church and its groups, but by Sixth Stamford Scouts and Guide group and it is the home of the Stamford Foodbank. Stamford Amateur Musical Society also meets there and it is used by a variety of exercise classes.
Two sessions are set to be held on Monday at the centre, at 2.30pm and at 7pm, each lasting about an hour, where the Very Rev Mark Warrick will outline the plans.
Rebecca added: “We would like to share our exciting plans for the future and hear from individuals, and groups from the local community who may be willing/able to assist us with our challenge.”
Trustees are particularly hoping to hear from businesses which could help such as kitchen suppliers and plumbers, as well as former pupils of St John’s School and people who have used the building, who might want to help. They also need vital help from a quantity surveyor and anyone who has experience of submitting grant applications.
Anyone not able to make Monday’s meetings who is interested in finding out more is asked to e-mail:@ firstname.lastname@example.org