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Gloucestershire Business News

Bid to turn former church into community space

A community group is pulling together in a bid to save one of a Cotswold town's historic buildings and transform it into a space for the whole community to enjoy.

A team of Winchcombe residents is working on a bid to buy the Methodist church on the town's High Street with the vision of converting it into a community hub for the arts and performance, as well as a space for young people in Winchcombe and the surrounding area.

The group has already registered its interest with Tewkesbury Borough Council which has now listed the former church as an 'Asset of Community Value'.

The building has two large main spaces, meeting rooms as well as a fully equipped kitchen, accessible by lift and stairs, making it ideal for a range of events, meetings and activities.

The Methodist church building dates back to the time of the renowned preacher John Wesley and closed in 2022 following a decline in attendance, with the members now meeting at Winchcombe 'Be Social' Day Centre.

The plan has already attracted a lot of support from both local residents and people further afield, with an Open Day organised for Saturday, February 4, from 10am-4pm in the former Methodist church itself.Refreshments will be available, along with activities for children.

The event is designed to showcase the plans, including an artist's impression of how it might look, and encourage more people to come along, have their say and get involved with their ideas and suggestions.

Posters and leaflets about the event have been posted around Winchcombe and a Facebook group 'Winchcombe Arts and Youth Centre Project' has already attracted in excess of 200 members.

Stuart Cox, steering group member, said; "This project presents a really exciting opportunity to bring Winchcombe together to shape and create an artistic and youth-orientated venue that will benefit everyone. 

"We can't wait to share our vision at the Open Day and would love to hear from anyone who'd like to support us or get involved in any way."

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