What we’re doing – now and next
The Dockyard Church project
The Trust has received a Round 1 pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Heritage Enterprise Grant which unlocks £500,000 of development funding, with a further £4.25m becoming available on the successful completion of the development phase.
We’re now in discussions with major donors to raise match funding. Swale Borough Council have already generously contributed £70,000 and further funding has been pledged by the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Pilgrim Trust.
We are delighted to announce the award of a £199,000 grant from Historic England to begin our stabilisation work on the church (starting in late November). This grant will enable us to start implementing a full scaffolding design and to stabilise the tower in preparation for the larger refurbishment work to be carried out as part of the main HLF-supported project.
Procurement and management
Over the last few months we have been busy procuring our professional team. Glevum Consulting (Director Simon Hawkins) were appointed in June to do the overall management of the Project. They have been working with the Trust to recruit other members of the team.
We now have a Project Administrator (Catherine Hawkins) to deal with the day to day administration of the Project and a Fund raiser (Katy Jackson) to help with our fundraising.
After a successful interview in October PT Projects (Director Nic Gold) has been appointed as Cost Consultant for the project. PT Projects have worked on several significant Heritage Projects including Abingdon County Hall & Museum, Museum of the Order of St John, Orleans House & Gallery (Richmond) and Wat Tyler Country Park (Basildon).
We have now successfully appointed our design team, Hugh Broughton Architects (HBA) being the lead consultant supported by Martin Ashley Architects (MAA) who will provide specialist conservation advice.
HBA have many years of experience working on renovation and conservation projects both in the UK and abroad. They are presently working on the conservation of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich. They have been the lead design team on projects including the design of a new gallery to house the Portland Collection in Nottinghamshire, the design of a new East Wing at Maidstone Museum and more notably for a series of remote projects including the impressive and innovative Halley VI Antarctic Research Station and the Juan Carlos 1, Spanish Antarctic Base.
Hugh Broughton and the team have been working on design options for the Trust to consider for the completed building in particular focusing on the positioning of the Rennie Model of the Sheerness Dockyard and the layout of the flexible office space within the building.
We have been working with our prospective partner, the London Youth Support Trust (LYST) on developing our ideas for how the finished church could accommodate business support facilities for young people. The LYST team are currently researching existing local need and provision to inform our plans for delivering a successful and sustainable project.
Running alongside the Dockyard Church project, the Trust are running a series of arts and education projects working with local people and schools, gathering memories of the church and the Dockyard, and bringing the community into the project at the earliest opportunity.
The Church garden is home to Room – a dedicated arts space hosting exhibitions and workshops inspired by the project.
Stabilising the building
The Urgent Works to stabilise the building began at the end of November after the Trust were successfully awarded a grant of £199,000 by Historic England. Coniston were contracted to complete the work under the management of Martin Ashley Architects (MAA).
The site has been cleared of vegetation and asbestos and the scaffolding in the main body of the building has been erected.
Work has just begun on the propping the tower and should be completed in the first week of February. The building should then be safe and stable to allow for the main renovation to start towards the end of this year.
The architects will develop designs for sensitively restored church that will be adapted for community use as a supported workspace incubator for young businesses, where they will have access to affordable facilities and professional advice to grow and thrive.
Public access to the restored building is a vital component, and the designs will also need to accommodate display of the restored and repatriated Sheerness Dockyard model, with its huge 1600 square feet footprint.
We’re working with local organisations to inform modern and relevant interpretation for the model, incorporating exciting Virtual Reality technologies designed by local young businesses.
We’re assembling a professional team to help save and restore the Dockyard Church