The good news we have been seeking and working so hard toward was finally received from SSDC on Tuesday 31 October. After a protracted period of negotiations with our Conservation Architects, Benjamin & Beauchamp we have satisfactorily discharged all the Planning Conditions associated with the relevant Planning permissions (including Change of Use).
Underway at last! The journey to reach this point has been long and not without its difficulties, delays and frustrations. However, we have not lost sight of our Vision for this wonderful Grade II listed building.
‘The transformation of The George, a former Public House, into a vibrant community hub after a period of extensive restoration and refurbishment’
This exciting project is founded on our firm belief that God gave us The George. It is also based on the conviction that His main purposes in enabling us to buy this wonderful building are to ‘reach the unreached’ and to make a positive difference to the lives of local residents. Since buying the building, God has been challenging, training, and equipping us, in order that we might make the most of the many opportunities The George will offer us, which include:
• Creating a vibrant, caring Community Hub, not merely a Café – a place where people can support each other, demonstrate care and instil confidence and direction – nurturing the beginnings of a new community spirit.
• Establishing a relaxed and positive environment for everyone to enjoy – where people of all ages feel welcome, comfortable and free to enjoy a range of activities, at different times of the day.
• Providing a place of refuge, peace and service to the community – especially to those who are hurting, depressed, frustrated, lonely, elderly, confused, or feel marginalised – and to provide a listening ear to those in need.
The fulfilment of this project will be the next step in realising this vision – to bring people who are at the margins of our community, into a vibrant Community Hub where they feel safe, and welcome, and where there will be opportunities to touch lives with the love of Jesus.
What can we expect on the completion of the extensive refurbishment programme?
The completion of the proposed schedule of restoration and refurbishment will ensure that this important Grade II Listed building not only makes a positive contribution to the street scene, but is also in great structural and aesthetic shape, ‘fit for purpose’ in the 21st century and beyond, and importantly retained for regular use by the local community for generations to come.
On the ground floor – a welcoming Community Café where you can relax with family, friends and neighbours, or even get to know others living in our community. An office where our Youth Pastor, Jamie Bruce will be based – the perfect place for young people to drop in, catch up and to find out what’s on offer. And, those all-important cloakroom facilities including, for the first time at The George, disabled toilet facilities.
On the first floor – the Function Room will be sensitively brought up-to-date and available to hire for those special occasions and community events. The former landlord’s accommodation is to be transformed to create four vibrant meeting spaces, a coffee station and additional cloakroom facilities. Considerable interest has already been expressed by individuals, businesses and community groups wishing to make use of these enhanced spaces.