Regenerating communities

Our Regeneration Team delivers major ‘new use’ projects for historic places of worship.

We’re an award-winning team with experience across community regeneration, planning and social enterprise, historic conservation, site interpretation and project management. We share our skills with local people, communities and businesses to deliver extraordinary projects. 

We've achieved 14 awards over 3 projects including 6 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors awards for Community Benefit, Building Conservation and Project of the Year (All Souls Bolton).

 

Click here to see how we can help you with your heritage regeneration projects, or scroll down to view past projects.

Watch our film and read our publication about the impact of our work during 2017/18 and our consultancy service.

Regeneration: Building a future for your historic place of worship 2017/18

 

 

  • Our approach to regeneration

    Our Regeneration Taskforce was set up specifically to focus on major projects which require a blend of regeneration expertise and community skills to succeed. We find, nurture and develop sustainable, long term new uses for some of our finest historic buildings, working in partnership with community groups, charities, social enterprises, friends groups, businesses and entrepreneurs. Read more...

  • Regeneration Consultancy Service

    We regularly work on partnership projects with external organisations, including vulnerable churches still in use by congregations. Click here to find out more about what we can offer.

  • Project toolkits

    To support volunteers and community groups seeking to bring new life to heritage buildings we've put together a series of toolkits that give insight into the regeneration process and can support the development of your own regeneration building projects. Click here to find out more.

  • Meet the regeneration team

    Our Regeneration Team

    We are a small creative team with experience across a range of sectors, including community regeneration, planning, social enterprise, historic conservation, site interpretation, and project management. We bring our skills together to deliver award-winning projects with people we work with.

    • Isabel Assaly

      Head of Regeneration and Consultancy

      Isabel joined The Churches Conservation Trust in 2011 and works in the award-winning Regeneration Team as Head of Regeneration and Consultancy. Currently managing a portfolio of projects for the Trust and external groups, Isabel works in partnership with local organisations and individuals to deliver meaningful and long-lasting benefits to local communities through adapting historic churches. Isabel also manages the CCT's European consultancy service.  

      Prior to the Trust, Isabel worked for the British Museum and for Natural England, the government adviser for the natural environment.

      Isabel is a qualified PRINCE 2 project manager and holds a RIBA Certificate in construction project management and an MSc in the Built Environment (Sustainable Heritage) from University College London.

    • Rachel Barrett

      Regeneration Manager

      Since joining the team in 2013, Rachel has worked on major capital projects All Souls Bolton and Quay Place, with particular emphasis on craft skills programming, financial management and activity planning.  Rachel is experienced in the community-led regeneration approach, and has worked with a wide range of professionals, organisations, charities and community groups, both nationally and internationally. 

      Prior to joining the Trust, Rachel worked for the Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust on their award-winning project, SHAPING 24, a cultural tourism initiative leading on community engagement projects and promoting 24 iconic buildings across Norwich and Ghent.

      Rachel has a RIBA Certificate in Construction Project Management, is a qualified project manager (PRINCE2) and has a MA Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies from the University of East Anglia.

    • Amanda Gerry

      Regeneration Officer

      Amanda was previoulsy the Development Officer for The Canny Space, a transformational re-use project at Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland. 

      Amanda is an experienced project manager with over 25 years specialising in sustainable development and the not-for-profit sector. Having started her career in the military, she has held a number of project management roles in both the public and voluntary sectors across the North East.

      Amanda grew up in Somerset but has lived in the North East for the past 30 years. Amanda holds a certificate in both Project Management and Management Resilience and has a Prince Foundation certificate (online) having recently participated in the Emerging Leaders workshop with the Clore Foundation. She is passionate about community research, extending her CPD at Edinburgh University in research with children / young people.

      Amanda is a member of The Historic Religious Buildings Alliance and is a City of Sunderland Cultural Ambassador promoting good practice, partnership working, community development and heritage regeneration across the North East. She sits on a number of boards including the Sunderland Cultural Partnership, Heritage Action Zone, Cultural Learning Group, and represents the CCT at the AHRC funded ‘Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience’ research project.

    • Elanor Johnson

      Regeneration Officer

      Elanor joined the Regeneration Team in January 2020, working across a number of projects with a particular focus on supporting heritage skills training and engagement at Holy Trinity, Sunderland and St Swithun’s, Worcester.   

      An archaeologist by background, Elanor has worked in heritage engagement and learning for twenty years, working on diverse sites including prehistoric landscapes, twentieth century coastal defences, and a medieval castle. Her passion is for connecting people with place by creating sustainable futures for historic buildings that enhance local community life and provide opportunities for all to volunteer, learn and develop. 

      Elanor joins us from Newcastle Diocese, where she led the Rural Churches for Everyone in Northumberland project. Prior to that she worked on the transformation of Hylton Castle Sunderland from roofless ruin to community heritage hub. Elanor led the award-winning Heritage Skills in Education project for North of England Civic Trust, as well as working on consultancy-based commissions for the public and community sectors in the North East. 

      Elanor studied archaeology at Newcastle University before postgraduate study at the University of Nottingham. She is an experienced project and programme manager with expertise in training, skills development and community engagement. 

    • Jake Millar

      Regeneration Officer

      Jake joined the Churches Conservation Trust’s Regeneration Team in January 2020, where he has been supporting the re-development of St Peters church in Sudbury, a beautiful Grade I listed building which has stood at the heart of the town since the 14th century. Jake also helps to deliver and facilitate a number of consultancy services, which are provided by the team to a growing number of clients.

      Before joining the Trust Jake worked for the British Library, where he delivered a series of UK-wide consultations before co-authoring a research paper on digital transformations for UK public libraries. Jake also has experience of working on community projects, particularly concerning site interpretation and stakeholder engagement. This comes from his time working in partnership with the Mayflower 400 commemorative program, which aims to support learning and increase visitor numbers within heritage sites.

      Jake holds an MA in Public History from the University of Essex, and has a qualification in Agile Project Management from the Scrum Alliance.

    • Allison Burke

      Development Officer, Sudbury

      Allison joined the Trust in October 2018, to work as Development Officer on the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported ‘Built For Exchange’ regeneration project at St Peter’s Sudbury.  Coming from a background in senior management in the private sector, Allison has 15 years’ experience in supporting corporate governance and compliance, HR management, and contributing to both long and short term organisational strategy.  As a former trustee of the ‘Friends of St Peter Sudbury’ charity, she is passionate about making heritage accessible to all, using a creative approach to finding alternative uses for heritage buildings, and encouraging positive community engagement as a priority.  Allison studied Humanities with the Open University,  has undertaken training with the Institute of Leadership and Management, and has recently completed the Clore Social Leadership ‘Discover’ programme.  She has been a Chair of Governors (local Authority) for a school in Essex and currently sits on Babergh & Mid Suffolk Council’s ‘Sudbury Vision Officer Delivery Group’ as part of the St Peter’s project.

       

    • Amelia Evans

      Regeneration Projects Assistant

      Amelia joined the Regeneration team in April 2017 after gaining administration and coordination experience for two years in the Trust’s Resources team. Prior to this, Amelia was Museum Resources Officer at Windsor & Royal Borough Museum working closely with the community and developing her interpretation skills. Amelia volunteered in a number of roles, such as Visitor Services Volunteer at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Curatorial Volunteer at Hackney Museum before starting at the Trust. Amelia has a MA in International Heritage Management from Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage connected to the University of Birmingham.

    • Karen Houghton Slater

      Regeneration Associate

      Karen is an associate to the Regeneration team, bringing thirty years experience in property development, regeneration and heritage restoration.

      A chartered development surveyor by background, Karen has worked in the private, public and third sectors, and is convinced that collaboration across all sectors, and most importantly with the people who live and work there is the key to any successful regeneration project.

      Karen was instrumental in one of the first community asset transfers in the country ten years ago, the award-winning Hebden Bridge Town Hall. She project-managed the development into a business and community centre and since then has supported a number of organisations across the North to take on much loved buildings and repurpose them, creating arts centres, cafes, community and business spaces.

      Karen is project-managing CCT’s repurposing of St. Swithun’s, a beautiful Georgian church in the centre of Worcester into a sound and arts venue, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.