Thanks to funding from Gwynedd's Cwlwm Gwledig and from the Welsh Development Agency, the trust was able to commission architect Andrew Arrol to complete the applications for Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent during 2002/2003. Consent has been granted for mixed use, retaining the present use as a place of assembly, and adding office space. On entering the building, a stair case will lead up to the right, with a WC and lift on the left. Straight ahead will be doors to the offices on the ground floor. On the first floor, with its own WC, will be a large meeting/training room, maintaining the sense of height and space. New metal windows inserted within the sandstone openings will have opening lights on each floor, with externally a black-glazed panel concealing the new floor.
Outside, there will be a new vehicular access to the site with a limited amount of parking towards the rear, concealed by planting. This is in order to provide safe access off the trunk road for disabled users. A ramp will be formed from the parking to the front door.
Andrew Arrol has also obtained recommendations on how to repair the Coadestone Gate from specialist conservators.
Initial estimates (2002) by the Quantity Surveyor indicated that repairs and conversion of the former church might cost £511,000, excluding VAT. This includes bringing services to site, making limited parking and access ramps but excludes the Coadestone Gate. When insurance, administration and professional fees are added, the overall cost excluding VAT was estimated at about £625,500.
Now that detailed design is approaching completion, these costs are expected to increase.
The Coadestone Gate will form a separate, linked project. Tenders for its repair are due imminently from specialist conservators.
Commercial rents in Gwynedd are too low to pay for new construction of comeercail property without subsidy, let alone specialist conservation. The annual cost of insuring the former church and maintaining the historic fabric is estimated at about twice the rental of the existing floor area. The proposals include inserting a floor to increase the letting area, to ensure that the building will earn its keep. After repair and conversion, the 200m2 building will be worth a little over £52,000.
Repair and re-use of the building will generate some 17 jobs, due to the capital costs, and the ongoing activities on site, and maintenance of the building.
The trust has applied successfully to Cadw for funding.
We are currently preparing applications to Europe under Objective 1, and to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We have a letter expressing strong interest in leasing the premises as a whole from a local service provider, Cartrefi Cymru. They have just prepared a long-term strategy and realise that they will need larger premises in two or three years. They need offices, a large meeting room and training facilities of their own. They are eager to use the grounds for training for their clientele. This will ensure that the grounds are well kept and remain accessible to the community.
The trust entered the lease on 1 Sep 2000. The break-clause is after 5 years. If we have not secured all consents and 100% funding by 1 April 2005, the trust will have to relinquish the lease. Meanwhile, we must pay over £700 per year insurance on the building...