Transforming St Peter’s into a vibrant cultural venue at the heart of Sudbury
St Peter’s is not only a prominent landmark, it is also Sudbury’s main venue for large events. It is already used for a range of activities, but this beautiful and unique building is in need of urgent repairs and brand new facilities in order to make it sustainable for the future.
During a 2-year development phase, we worked up our designs and operational plans. Planning permissions have been granted, and we’ve now been successful with final bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, bringing confirmation in September 2020 of a £1.67M grant, enabling us to now move on with this exciting project!
We are also extremely grateful to the New Anglia LEP Growing Places Fund, and Babergh District Council CIL and Communities Fund, along with many private donors and other funders, for supporting the project with significant grants, helping us to achieve our match funding. Huge thanks also go to the people of Sudbury who made it possible for the Friends of St Peter’s to donate £100,000 to the project.
It is currently anticipated that St Peter’s will close in September 2021 for a period of around 12-15 months in order for the repairs and renovations to be completed. During that time, plans will continue to be developed, contractors and staff will be recruited and interpretation elements will be co-created.
The regeneration project will deliver the following improvements:
- A contemporary internal new build to the major entrance at the West end providing an improved and more welcoming lobby;
- An inspiring, fully accessible, mezzanine floor, providing extra learning space, and new bell ringing platform;
- The provision of toilets;
- An upgrade to the kitchen and bar facilities;
- The opening of the south chapel for visitors to enjoy, to be used as a green room for performers, and provide space for meetings or classes;
- Provision of office space for staff & volunteers;
- Improvements and access externally;
- New roofing over the chancel, and vital repairs and upgrades to the fabric of the building.
- New exciting interpretation elements, to be co-curated and co-created with the local community
Alongside these physical changes to the building, St Peter’s will also offer an exciting programme of cultural events, alongside learning and heritage activities, developed in consultation with the local community, to appeal to locals and visitors of all ages, and will be fully staffed with a Centre Manager, Learning & Engagement Officer and sessional staff. Volunteers will continue to be an intrinsic part of St Peter’s daily life, with opportunities to build CV’s, undertake training and achieve recognition. We can’t wait to meet you all!
The £2.7M regeneration of St Peter’s, together with the NLHF-funded project at Gainsborough’s House and other local initiatives, will greatly contribute to Babergh District Council’s ‘Vision for Prosperity’, in conjunction with Sudbury Town Council, for the town and local area. It will complement the wider regeneration plans for Sudbury by enhancing the town’s current cultural tourism offering, and by feeding into the local economy.
You can view the current designs for the regeneration project here.
The Friends of St Peter’s
The Friends of St. Peter’s (FoSP) is a registered charity which was founded, after St. Peter’s closed for religious services, in 1974. Our volunteers help to manage the upkeep of St. Peter’s, the hiring of the building to local cultural and community groups, and arrange for the building to be open to visitors.
The Churches Conservation Trust
The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) is the national heritage charity saving historic churches. It protects and helps secure new uses for over 350 buildings, which attract almost 2 million visitors a year. The CCT is the operator of the third largest heritage estate in charitable ownership in the UK, and has an international award-winning reputation in heritage conservation and regeneration.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.
Experience More of Sudbury
There is plenty to see and do in Sudbury, pre or post-event. Here you can find everything you need to experience more of Sudbury.
Ready to uncover a hidden gem? Find out more about the independent shops and stalls in our beautiful market town.
Whether you need a pre-show meal, a quick coffee to-go or a tipple post-event, discover the best places to eat and drink in Sudbury.