Blawith, St John the Baptist becomes home to local young couple
We are pleased to have helped a young couple in the Lake District to find and purchase a church that they will turn into their home in one of the most expensive property hot spots in England.
We have owned St John the Baptist since 1993. The church is unlisted so we decided to seek an alternative use for it to help secure its future. In collaboration with locals, the Regeneration Taskforce identified the lack of housing for young people as a key issue in the area. High house prices coupled with a lack of suitable land on which to build affordable housing has led to many young people leaving the area.
We worked with Liam Wrigley and Georgie Robson to enable their purchase of the church, the sale of which was completed in September 2012 and helped them to obtain planning permission to convert the building. The couple, who both have local ties and work in the area, are looking forward to making St John’s their home and will run a bed and breakfast business from the church.
From early 2013 when the work goes on site we will be updating the website with project developments.
Georgie Robson, who now owns St John’s with her partner, Liam Wrigley, says,
“The Churches Conservation Trust and the Church Commissioners have been incredibly helpful and easy to work with throughout our purchase of St. Johns. We have had constant communication, they have been liaising with not only ourselves but our architect and others involved with the design and planning process. There is no way we would have been able to afford to buy a house in the local area, let alone designed and built one. We'd like to thank the CCT and the Church Commissioners for giving us the chance to live in such a beautiful area and an important local building.”
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to both secure the future of this historic former parish church and help a young couple to find housing. Blawith church is an important part of the Cumbrian landscape but was unlisted and is best protected by finding it a new use. I wish Georgie and Liam much happiness in their special new home.”
This work is part of the our role of managing its estate effectively and working to ensure that it creates community benefits. The Regeneration Taskforce’s method of analysing community needs alongside those of the building helped to identify the best use for this church.