A community comes together to launch the Beonna

29 Jan 2018

Since 2013 The Churches Conservation Trust has been providing project management services to a wonderful locally rooted charity in south Lincolnshire to support their plans to develop a new creative use for their closed parish church.

All Saints is a stunning building and the key community space for the rural community of Benington, a small village located 10 miles north of Boston. Closed since 2003 (the building is on the at risk register), this enterprising community has come together to form a friends’ group (to fundraise for church upkeep) and later a charity with the express purpose of finding a new use for the site. Benington Community Heritage Trust (BCHT) formed in 2007 and is now on the verge of launching the Beonna.

The village, like so many rural communities, has lost its shop, post office, doctors and school. All that remains is the pub. The Beonna (the old English name for the area) will provide new community facilities and support services for local people. An enterprise workspace (with access to free Wi-Fi) will be created alongside the provision of support services for the elderly, families and carers (vitally important given cuts to local service provision for these groups and the rise in social isolation). A new community café and car park will complement the offer.

Building work will complete this summer with the site opening for business in the autumn. This £2.4m project has been funded principally by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund have provided loan support for the car park development.  

The CCT were initially appointed to manage the development and delivery of the successful £1.8m HLF bid and have since been reappointed as construction project managers with current oversight of the design team, build contractor, delivery programme and budget.

This is a truly inspirational project that is genuinely community led. Learn more about the CCT’s regeneration consultancy services here.