William Thompson

Williams Thompson Solicitors

Along with the Regent Centre, Christchurch’s other big non-for-profit business is the Priory Church....

With the new Vicar settled in, the Priory is determined to become more outward looking and has big development plans.

Over the years the large historic house behind the Priory (Priory House) had become underused- but that is no more. It has been renovated with a new café linked into the Priory. Choir rooms and offices have also been established . That was only Phase One, however.

Phase Two involves the sale of the church’s Priory Hall in Princess Avenue. The Church’s own plans to develop the site hit problems with planning permissions and the hall is now being advertised on the market with a price tag of £700,000.

At the same time a Heritage Lottery Fund application is underway and the hope is for sufficient funds to be raised for their £2 million development plan to become a reality.

The project is for a new architecturally attractive, multi-functional hall to be built in the area between the Priory and Priory House, coupled with the redevelopment of the café area, the visitors centre and shop as well as a new museum on the first floor of the house.

For the Priory, the idea is that the new facilities will enable it to offer wedding and funeral receptions and overall the amenities will provide a sustainable income for the Priory.

For Christchurch, it should enhance the attraction of the town’s number one tourist destination. Taken together with the Castle, Constables House and Place Mill, the development of the Priory will give a welcome boost to what is now going to be marketed as Christchurch’s Heritage Quarter.

 

Peter Watson-Lee

 

Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce

www.williamsthompson.co.uk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 01202 484242

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