Focus Consultants has been appointed to project manage a plan for a major restoration at one of London’s historic churches.
The Parish Church of St Marylebone, home to the internationally respected Healing and Counselling Centre and innovative NHS Marylebone Health Centre, has been awarded initial support of £700,000 from The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop proposals for the £8.6m restoration of the church and the renewal of community facilities.
The historical Grade I listed London landmark has appointed Focus Consultants as project directors and project managers.
The scheme is set to include new building work adjoined to the current structure to include a welcome and reception area, additional exhibition space and a café for visitors. In addition to this, extensive repairs and conservation efforts are expected to take place on the existing building.
Focus Consultants partner Ellie Clarke said: “St Marylebone Church is an important building in London and the team at Focus is very pleased to have been appointed to help with the development in the next chapter of its history.
“We have significant experience of working on such projects and are looking forward to project managing these inspiring proposals.”
Constructed in 1817, the Anglican church located on the Marylebone Road is the third building used for the parish church in the borough’s 900-year-old history. The present church was the venue for the wedding of Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett and the baptism of Charles Dickens’ son. In the 1980s, the Parish took a huge leap in converting the unusable crypts of the church to create a range of complementary facilities for community uses.
The Rector of St Marylebone, The Revd Canon Stephen Evans, commented: “The regeneration will allow the parish to become a Community Hub which will tell the story of St Marylebone “the great city north of Oxford Street”.
The Rector and Parochial Church Council will be partnering the Church Army’s Marylebone Project in providing a Community Café, staffed by women who would otherwise be homeless, Vital Regeneration, an innovative community enterprise project based in Church Street, one of Westminster’s most deprived areas, working with local young people who are not in employment or education, the Building Crafts College in Stratford (which was founded in and had its premises in Marylebone for nearly 100 years) and a host of other individuals and agencies.
The Changing Lives project will lead to a more sustainable future for the church – creating a vibrant, welcoming hub and enabling visitors to learn more about the heritage of the church and the wider Marylebone area.
The Focus team is currently working to develop the bid ready for submission to the HLF in Summer 2018. The project is expected to be completed in 2020.