Ashbourne Methodist Church has a thriving church family and makes good use of its extensive Victorian buildings, supporting both the local community and visiting groups. However, the buildings are out-dated and have very limited inter-connections, except via the street outside. They restrict the church’s ability to fulfil its vision in such areas of worship, learning and caring, service and evangelism.
The church is embarking on an ambitious scheme to renew its premises, upgrading them and joining them together - hence the name: ‘The Link’.
The scheme overall will enable the church to strengthen its role in the community over the coming decades. It will do so by providing better venues for community use, better facilities for accommodating different forms of worship, improving access and safeguarding, and enabling easier maintenance of the facilities.
The plan is to create a new glass-sided link building and reception area which will act as the new main entrance from Station Road to the church. This building will then connect directly to:
- The main worship area
- Century Hall
- Cornerstone café
- Gateway, beneath the worship area
- Waterside, beneath the Century Hall
The Link Project received listed building consent from the Methodist Church in March 2019 and planning consent from Derbyshire Dales District Council in March 2021.
The new facilities will provide easy access to each area of the church complex. All parts of the buildings will also be refurbished and will be provided with new kitchens and accessible toilets.
The Link Project is part of Ashbourne Reborn, a £15-million transformation of Ashbourne town centre which will start in 2023 after government approved an exciting Levelling Up Fund bid.
Ashbourne Methodist Church will become a community hub, offering a fresh, modern range of accommodation options for groups and families and an outdoor riverside garden event space, will also link to a range of sustainable transport options to improve connectivity, including charging for e-bikes and scooters and connections to the Tissington Trail.
Rev’d Nicola Briggs, Superintendent Minister Ashbourne Methodist Circuit, said:
“We are delighted that the Ashbourne Reborn bid has been successful. The funding will enable us to do so much to develop our buildings for use by the community and as a performing arts and events space. It will make a significant contribution to the revitalisation of the town centre.
“We are so pleased to continue serving our community as we have been doing for over 200 years. Our Link project is about Linking Buildings, Linking People, Building Community.”
You can read more about Ashbourne Reborn on the Derbyshire Dales District Council website
The redevelopment of Ashbourne Methodist Church is budgeted to cost £6.418m, with £4.972m from Levelling Up Fund and £1.446 in match funding raised by the church. We have already raised significant funds from church members as well as grants from the Methodist Church and charitable organisations.