Wednesday 26th May 2021
This event marks 20 years since the Dockyard Church was gutted by a devastating fire on 30 May 2001.
The iconic Sheerness Dockyard Church sits on the westerly tip of the Isle of Sheppey, its clocktower a beacon for mariners on the estuary and the communities it sits within since 1829. Located at the entrance to the Medway and the Thames and just 5 miles from it's Essex neighbours in Shoeburyness, this Grade II* listed, derelict Palladian masterpiece is currently being restored and transformed into a business enterprise centre for young people, as well as a home for the Great Dockyard Model, and is due to open in 2022.
The £8 million project funded by NLHF and a host of other supporters, is currently one of the biggest heritage projects in the south east and is led by the Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust.
The complex task of reimagining the space is being undertaken by two outstanding architectural practices, Hugh Broughton Architects and historic conservation specialists Martin Ashley Architects working with contractors Coniston Ltd, who are combining their innovative approaches to design and conservation to create a very special space for the people of Sheppey.
You are invited to join our architects Hugh Broughton and Martin Ashley along with Trust Director Will Palin, to discuss the project and their approaches to delivering a historically sensitive yet dynamic solution to revitalising the church to it's former exterior grandeur coupled with a vibrant contemporary interior.
The free Zoom event will comprise an online talk followed by a 30 min Q&A with Martin, Hugh and Will, who will discuss the Sheerness Dockyard Church project, as well as some of their fascinating previous commissions including the restoration of the award-winning Painted Hall at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich and the Halley VI Antarctic Research Station as well as conservation projects at Hampton Court and Windsor Castle.
The event will be recorded and then be available on the SDPT website for the remainder of the Festival and beyond.
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About the project
The Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust is working to repair and transform Dockyard Church, which stands at the entrance to the former Royal Dockyard on the Isle of Sheppey. The church, which was badly damaged by fire in 2001, is an architectural masterpiece and one of the most important buildings at risk in the south east of England. The Trust has been working since 2015 to devise and raise funds for the project.
The current £8 million project was funded thanks to a £4.2m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2019 and the Trust has since raised an additional £3.23 from 23 trusts and foundations to meet our total.
In November 2020 work began on the 18-month project to restore and transform the derelict building into a Business Enterprise Hub for young people. The building is scheduled for completion in Autumn 2022.
This pioneering new facility will help young adults to establish financial independence and build thriving new businesses, by providing incubation units and on-site advice and support to develop and sustain their businesses; from school leavers’ advice and training, to providing premises, business mentoring and career development initiatives to drive local economic growth and provide a focus for young entrepreneurs.
The scheme has been designed by the award-winning team of Hugh Broughton Architects working with conservation specialists Martin Ashley Architects
The classical exterior of Dockyard Church is being lovingly repaired, with missing details reinstated to match the grand original 1828 design. Internally we will be preserving what is left of the 1881 interior including the cast iron columns and combining this with simple modern finishes. The upper floor will house 14 business incubation units.
Photo: Mark Sainsbury
Image: Hugh Broughton Architects