All Souls exterior

Work starts on £3.3m All Souls restoration project

Simon Donohue

Work has begun on an innovative lottery-funded project to transform an endangered Bolton church into a modern community centre.

Restoration of the grade 2-listed All Souls Church in Astley Street includes the construction of two 'pods' within the building, helping to leave the historic fabric of the church largely untouched.

The new structures will be the first of their kind in the UK, with high-level walkways giving people a unique perspective on All Souls' architecture and stained glass windows.

All Souls inteiorFacilities within the building will include a large flexible events space, which will be used for community activities and conferences, meeting rooms, a specialist social media centre and production suite, an informal learning space in the side chapel, lettable offices and a ground floor café.

The project was awarded a £3.3m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2009.

It is being led by the Churches Conservation Trust and All Souls' Crompton Community Centre Trust.

Principal contractor for interior construction work at the church is Walter Carefoot & Sons, Preston.

Lambert Walker is restoring the exterior of the building.

Lead architect on the project is OMI Architects. Other professionals include Alan Gardner Associates (Heritage Building Surveyor), Poole Dick Associates (Quantity Surveyors), Buro 4 (Project Manager), Scott Hughes Design (Structural Engineers) and Hoare Lea (M&E Services).

The Heritage Lottery Fund aims to "make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy".

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