Campaigners' joy as Brighton church wins funding for restoration

A city centre church has been granted cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore its classical Greek frontage, which dates from 1820.

Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 3:23 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:42 am
Jef Jones, lay leader of Brighton Unitarian Church
Jef Jones, lay leader of Brighton Unitarian Church

Brighton Unitarian Church on New Road has been awarded a grant of £227,500 after a survey in 2016 revealed the columns and portico were under threat of structural collapse.

Historic England then put the Grade-II listed building on its heritage ‘at risk register’.

But church members were determined to save the building, and launched a fundraising campaign which included a programme of lunchtime concerts, organ recitals, quizzes and fairs.

Brighton Unitarian Church on New Road

They also turned to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for help, compiling a dossier of the repairs required, along with a programme of planned works and fundraising to achieve it.

Now, to campaigners’ joy, the HLF has agreed to fund 53 per cent of the project costs with the £227,500 grant.

This will fund the repair and restoration of the classical portico, as well as an activity programme to raise awareness of the building’s history.

Jef Jones, the congregation’s lay leader, said: “We’re pleased and excited that the Heritage Lottery Fund are giving us a grant to help restore our church.

“It has been at the heart of liberal religion in Brighton for nearly 200 years and it’s a great community resource and concert venue.

“We can look forward now to getting on with the work and conserving the church for future generations.”

The building, which is used as a church and as a concert venue, was the work of Brighton architect Amon Henry Wilds.

It was completed in August 1820, built on land bought from the Prince Regent for £650 in 1819. The plot had been part of the gardens of the Royal Pavilion.

To find out more about Brighton Unitarian Church, visit: www.brightonunitarian.org.uk