St Cuthbert’s stands beside the village green in the heart of old Billingham, the original medieval settlement that is now on the edge of the modern town. Parts of the striking Grade I listed church date back to the 9th century; it has a Saxon tower and a number of additions and extensions dating from across the medieval period. The building is unusual in that the chancel, which was rebuilt in 1939, is much wider that the lofty medieval nave.
The church received Inspired Futures regeneration support in order to progress their plans, through a review of the options and feasibility of extended use, addressing accessibility issues both inside and outside the church, exploration of the ‘local stories’ the church could offer to engage with the community, and testing local partnership opportunities.
The final report (see below) outlines the progress the church group have made throughout the Inspired Futures project, acknowledging the key challenges and successes and the type of work undertaken. Overall, as a result of the project regeneration support, the church group are now in a stronger position to develop their project, via the outputs achieved as outlined below:
- Event planning templates for use in public and collaborative events with stakeholders
- Consultation templates which can be re-used and adapted to gather evidence demonstrating how the project can address a need for the building/community.
- Feedback from community consultation providing evidence for the final statement of need
- A user-friendly walk-around guide to the heritage of the building co-produced by the project group
- Statement of needs around fabric, facilities, access and worship and options to meet these needs.
- Project planning templates including roles and responsibilities, project costs and fundraising strategy.