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Sydenham Church Group Gets Money

25 May 2001

The Sydenham Heritage Trust, formed to save the historic Sydenham Methodist Church building, now has a loan from the Christchurch City Council to buy the building.

The Council has decided to advance an interest-free loan of more than $400,000 for the purchase of the church building at the corner of Brougham and Colombo streets. A business plan submitted to the Council says the trust intends to conserve,

maintain and operate the church in conjunction with Council heritage planners. Work on the strengthening and conservation of the church will be carried out and it will be managed to ensure financial security. A heritage covenant will be placed on the church. The trust says it is focusing initially on short to medium-term use for the church and says it needs to be tenanted as a "matter of priority." Two approaches have been made to the trust for use of the building on a lease before strengthening is carried out. Other organisations have expressed interest in the use of the building. These include uses as a sound recording studio and as a stained glass maker's studio. In its first year of operation, the trust will concentrate on repairs to the roof and windows, guttering replacement, sealing the car park, providing a disabled access and carrying out fire and safety requirements. The trust is now busy raising funds and seeking grants for the conservation work.

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