Phase 2 of the project is about transforming the existing Church Centre into a space that can hold many more activities than the existing building allows. Clever design and thoughtful use of space means that even by sticking close to the existing footprint, the new three-story Centre will have substantially more usable space for church and outreach activities.
The new Centre will be linked to the Phase 1 buildings by a wide enclosed corridor so, despite being separate buildings, the two spaces will work seamlessly together. The difference in floor level between the two will require a platform lift and stairs within the link.
The ground floor of the new Centre will have a large hall plus double-height reception space, kitchen and toilets. There is a mezzanine level which includes two meeting rooms and a youth space. Above that on the first floor will be an open-plan office and meeting rooms, with further meeting rooms and fellowship/lounge space on the second floor. These will allow us to run and grow activities and ministries throughout the week as well as on Sundays.
The works were tendered in the summer of 2021 and a design and build contract has been negotiated with Ash Contracting Ltd to deliver Phase 2 for an initial contract sum of £4.59m. There are various works left to procure however and given that material costs have increased significantly over the last year we envisage that the final construction costs will rise to nearer £5m
The funding work for Phase 2 has progressed significantly. Grants have been received from numerous trusts and the congregations have also given generously. As at the end of 2021, the gross funding shortfall, assuming a construction cost of £4.75m is circa £350k (£300k if most is gift aided).
Demolition, boundary underpinning works and piling for the new buildings were all completed in the latter months of 2021. Substructures and the new concrete frame commenced in ernest in January 2022 and the project is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2023.