The Hub will become an enabler to serving a wide variety of community interest groups, by sensitively re-imagining its large venue with a range of new and different sized meeting spaces, with affordable and well provisioned facilities, where community activities can take place, and social needs can be addressed.

Partly re-purposed as a fine concert hall

It will also do this by recognising the strong demand for good quality music in Ryedale, and the Wesley Centre will be partly re-purposed as a fine concert hall, providing the facilities to invite choirs, orchestras and recitalists' of national and international reputation to perform, capturing its auditory qualities and fine natural acoustic, and the special nature of the amphitheatre layout of the building.

With a seating capacity of 550, the Wesley Centre will be one of the largest buildings of its kind in Ryedale.

Commercial users

The Hub will also be a building that can provide good facilities to commercial users on competitive terms delivering a financial return from banqueting and wedding receptions, from conferences, exhibitions, and other public events. These activities have the ability to underpin and sustain the Community Hub for generations to come.

Overall, the Wesley Centre will complement the different and more limited facilities currently offered by other venues in the town and will become a place where residents and visitors will identify as a place to meet for a wide variety of purposes and activities.

A Community Hub for everyone

In addition to maintaining the building as a place of worship, the scheme embodies a partial re-purposing of the building as a concert hall, and the provision of flexible-use facilities for the community. The scheme also embraces the re-instatement of a three storey rear wing (the East Wing) providing much-needed new community space in the town, a professional catering kitchen capable of serving up to 150 diners, and new cloakrooms. Near the Saville Street entrance, the 1990s glazed screen will be removed opening up the entire ground floor to accommodate a modern Café (Café No. 10), an information/ Hub reception desk and a Centre manager’s office; the partial removal of the Victorian screen adjacent to the entrance doors will be replaced with a large glass entrance lobby creating a welcoming vista into the building from Saville Street for the first time in more than 150 years.

Support from conservationists

Each of the pivotal elements of the scheme have now been supported by the Listed Buildings Advisory Committee of the Methodist Church, and Historic England, and these include the removal of all the remaining ground floor pews (a later Victorian addition in 1866), bar the retention of two perimeter samples.  The existing pulpit and much altered choir stalls will also be removed and replaced with a new  sanctuary space to accommodate either traditional or contemporary worship styles, and a large stepped dais, doubling as a performance space for orchestras and choirs. Following consultation, broad endorsement has also been received by The Georgian Group, The Ancient Monuments Society, and the Victorian Society.

Reinstating a large historic pipe organ

The partial re-purposing of the building as a fine concert hall will see the reinstatement of a large historic pipe organ to the building. Originally built for the concert hall of the Royal Normal College for the Blind in South London in 1877, the organ was moved to Hailsham Parish Church in East Sussex during 1955. In early April 2018, the instrument was removed by organ builders Henry Willis & Sons of Liverpool to enable its comprehensive restoration.

The instrument has an outstanding provenance. With the exception of the fine organ at Ampleforth Abbey, the rebuilt organ will be one of the most significant such instruments between York and Beverley/ Scarborough on the East Coast.  A new ‘minstrels’ gallery, will provide a contemporary intervention in the historic building, straddling the space in front of the organ console between each side of the existing gallery.

Other than refurbishment and decoration, the gallery with its original raked pews will be left untouched. New bespoke fitted seat cushions will provide greater comfort to the gallery pews. The entire building will be refurbished and redecorated to a high standard, and equipped with additional lighting, sound, audio visual, and Wi-Fi facilities. New floor finishes and the ground floor seating will be largely of timber manufacture and designed to optimise the natural acoustic of the building.

At capacity, the Church and Centre will accommodate 550 people, with up to 300 in the gallery, and 250 on the ground floor.  

The adjacent three storey building at 12 Saville Street (the North Wing) is being retained, and modernised. Retail premises will continue on the ground, with community space provided on the first and second floors.  In May 2018, Malton Town Council decided that it would make the second floor of the North Wing of the Wesley Centre its new home in the town, following the complete refurbishment of the building during the second half of 2018.

Statement of Significance Statement of Need
Statement of Significance - Organ Decision Notice from LBAC
Cafe @ No.10 Ground Floor Plans
East Wing 1 Section Detail
East Wing 2 1st and 2nd Floor Plans
Main Auditorium East Wing Elevation
Orchestra in Auditorium Organ Detail
Organ and Minstrel's Gallery Lobby Screen
Management Business Plan 30 Sep 18