Second oldest church in Bromsgrove bought by town renovation firm

Bromsgrove Advertiser: RENOVATION: A Bromsgrove firm has bought United Reformed Church for an investment and renovation project. RENOVATION: A Bromsgrove firm has bought United Reformed Church for an investment and renovation project.

THE second oldest church in Bromsgrove is to be renovated after being bought by a town company.

The United Reformed Church, which has been serving the community for just over 340 years, held its last ever service last June.

After its closure the Windsor Street-based church and Sunday School were put up for sale, for £55,000 and £75,000 respectively.

A deal was completed for the combined £130,000 on January 10, with Martin Bloomer, the agent, confirming the fee was above the asking price.

Bromsgrove-based Shire Consulting, a civil and structural engineering firm, has purchased the church as an investment to carry out an extensive renovation and structural repair, in order to secure its long term future.

The firm's headquarters is located at The Chapel, in Barnsley Hall Road, which formed part of the Barnsley Hall asylum site.

This site was derelict when Shire Consulting purchased it and the firm designed, supervised and carried out the renovation - with a similar scheme planned for the church.

The church is a Grade II listed building, while the hall is Grade III protected.

Simon Crook, from the church, said the plan was to put it up for sale once renovation work was complete.

The church was originally known as the Independent Church, then Congregational Church, before becoming the United Reformed Church after the union of the Congregational and Presbyterian churches in 1972.

Shire Consulting is celebrating its 25th year in business, and has won numerous awards.

Last year was particularly successful for the structural design team, who were awarded three separate awards by the Royal Institute of British Architects for structural design.

Current projects include the conversation of the Worcester Porcelain works into an art and office complex, the structural design for Hereford Rugby Club and structural design of Bromsgrove's new combined police and fire station.

Mr Crook said: "We have worked closely with Conservation Architects and English Heritage on projects including manor houses, castles and churches.

"We believe our experience with historic buildings, knowledge of foundation strengthening and our experience of church renovation puts us in a unique position to carry out a sympathetic renovation of these properties."

For more details on Shire Consulting visit shire-uk.com.

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