Sup­port­ers have faith in church arts venue plans

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Thom Mor­ris tmor­ris@thek­m­

A COUN­CIL boss, an ar­chi­tect, a priest and the per­son in charge of in­vest­ing £2.5 bil­lion in Ash­ford will be lob­by­ing for an arts venue at St Mary’s church in two weeks’ time.

The Church of Eng­land has ap­plied to cre­ate a multi-use space in the body of the church’s nave, suit­able for ser­mons, plays, con­certs, ex­hi­bi­tions and wider com­mu­nity use.

St Mary’s priest Colin Preece, ar­chi­tect Nick Lee Evans, Ash­ford coun­cil cul­tural ser­vices boss Mark Carty and Ash­ford’s Fu­ture boss Ju­dith Ar­mitt will be speak­ing on be­half of the sup­port­ers at the hear­ing on May 21.

Speak­ing against the £1.3 mil­lion pro­pos­als will be chair­man of the Vic­to­rian So­ci­ety Dr John Scott and Church­yard res­i­dent Chris Cooper.

Un­der the plans there will also be im­prove­ments to the light­ing, toi­lets and heat­ing, more com­fort­able seat­ing and im­proved dis­abled ac­cess.

The hear­ing be­gins at 10.30am and will be presided over by the Com­mis­sary Gen­eral for the Dio­cese of Can­ter­bury, Richard Walker. He is ex­pected to make a fi­nal de­ci­sion on the plans over the sum­mer.

If given the go-ahead the project will be funded with grants worth £1.2 mil­lion, £100,000 from Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil and ad­di­tional fund­ing from the church.

Pic­ture: Gary Browne PD1703473

Blue­bells bring colour to King’s Wood, Chal­lock

The rev Colin Preece

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