Historic community barn gets £15,000 grant for first major refurbishment in 40 years

A community asset in south Shropshire has received a £15,000 council grant for its first major refurbishment work in 40 years.

Church Barn, Bishop’s Castle. Picture: Shropshire Council
Church Barn, Bishop’s Castle. Picture: Shropshire Council

Church Barn, a 17th century Grade 2 listed building in Bishop’s Castle, is a well-used licensed hall, available to hire for weddings, parties and other community events, but has received very little restoration since the 1980s.

£15,000 of grant funding from Shropshire Council allowed it to undergo essential renovations to restore structural damage to its floors and cupboard spaces.

The venue has also housed Bishop’s Castle community food bank since August 2021.

The community asset grant scheme was set up to support community and local organisations survive and rebuild because of the pandemic, and was open to organisations which could evidence the economic, social, and environmental benefits each project would deliver, plus the benefits it could provide for communities.

The funding allowed the barn to replace timbers and joists from the original structure, renovate the accessible toilet on site, and install an electrical vehicle charging point.

Andy Stelman, from Bishop’s Castle community food bank, said: “The staff from Shropshire Hardwoods were very thoughtful about the needs of the foodbank when carrying out the work, and often helped us carry supermarket deliveries into the Church Barn.

Shropshire Hardwoods team. Picture: Shropshire Council

"Once the work was completed the store cupboard door was very easy to open, making volunteers’ lives much easier. The cupboard is now dry, clean and suitable for our use.”

A spokesperson from the Church Barn management said: “We are grateful to Shropshire Council and the community asset fund for the opportunity to make our attractive and popular building fully functioning once more.

"The grant has enabled a difficult job to be done thoroughly and with care. We also want to acknowledge the enormous amount of co-operation with ourselves and each other which was demonstrated by the local craftspeople involved.”

Councillor Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for health (integrated care system) and communities, said: “This is another fantastic example of how the community asset grant is supporting venues in Shropshire. Facilities such as Church Barn are the pillars of our communities which deliver essential services for local people.”

Ruth Houghton, Shropshire councillor for Bishop’s Castle, said: “The community asset grant has been a valuable resource for the Church Barn, and it is good to see the difference that it has made to the voluntary and community groups that use the building. The addition of an electric vehicle charging point is also beneficial to users of the building.”

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News