"Grants are absolutely essential for charities and community groups because they can put people at the very centre of projects and services, allowing them to solve problems in their communities" - Debra Allcock Tyler, Chief Executive, Directory of Social Change

Extensive work has been undertaken by both the Church and its fund raising partners in parallel with the development of our plans, to devise a robust fundraising strategy.  A number of significant grants have already been received in respect of the remaining two phases of work. 

Phase 3 embraces the reinstatement of a large fully accessible three storey annex appended to the rear of the east wall of the Wesley Centre (the East Wing), containing an array of new variable sized community meeting spaces, a new professional catering kitchen, and new cloakrooms, including a Changing Places WC.  Phase 4 includes the sensitive transformation of the main 550-seat main space of the Wesley Centre, with a fully flexible ground floor (in its own right able to accommodate up to 250 people in theatre style, or 150 people for banqueting, conference, exhibition or other community purposes), a new central entrance, a new all-day cafe, and a new reception and hub information point.  The centre piece of this flexible main space will be the reinstatement of a large historic pipe organ (being funded separately), as an enabler not only for worship, but for the Wesley Centre to be enhanced as a fine classical concert hall, able to attract some of the finest national and internationally acclaimed classical musicians to perform.

The Wesley Centre has now been the beneficiary of a number of significant grants for its transformational redevelopment and a great many others have been applied for, and these are pending a decision.  The majority of major grant making trusts identified as key prospects for financial support between £50k-£250k typically require ‘all permissions to be in place’, and often up to 50% of funds confirmed also. As of October 2018, we obtained all necessary permissions for our exciting project, including from the Listed Buildings Advisory Committee of the Methodist Church and the Methodist Council of Great Britain, and full planning consent from Ryedale District Council, the local planning authority. 

We are hugely grateful to all our funders so far, both large and small, and it is a measure of their confidence both in our vision and the sustainability of our scheme, that they have been so generous. 

The Connexional Property Development Committee of the Methodist Church in Great Britain considers our scheme to be a model example of how such historic property assets might be sustainably used, for the benefit of a much wider community base. 

We hope to be in a position to commence the first of our two remaining phases by spring 2021.   

In addition to the above, Phase 1 of the Project (the major repair of the large roof over the main space) was completed at the end of May 2018, with the total cost of £125,000 fully funded.  Phase 2 embraced the complete refurbishment of the three-storey town-house adjoining the Church (the North Wing) as commercial space, and at a cost of £225,000.  Completed in May 2019, this project has also been fully funded.