Last October the Studley and Mappleborough Green Parochial Church Council agreed to investigate the possibility of purchasing and refurbishing the Studley Centre and financing it with the sale of the Parish Centre and adjoining land.
Since then members of the working group have done a fantastic amount to move the project forward with regard to both sites. As we said right from the start, we needed to do due diligence, and that financially the project, as a whole, had to add up. We appointed architects to do a feasibility study on the Studley Centre and they produced an exciting plan through which we could fulfil our vision to serve better our community in Studley, particularly our young people. We also sought planning advice on the Parish Centre site.
In the weeks leading up to Easter, however, we received the architects estimates for the work needing to be done on the Studley Centre, both in terms of repairs, and in reconfiguring it according to the vision we have for its use and it came to a total of £350,000. Given that Warwickshire County Council have valued the building at £250,000 it meant that the cost of the project would be (and possibly in excess of) £600,000. Even assuming the best-case scenario and that we managed to sell the Parish Centre site for £450,000 – we would be significantly short.
We always knew that the numbers would be tight, and that there would be some element of faith but, given the figures, to proceed to make a bid for the Centre to the WCC did not make financial sense so we did not submit one. (In our process document, we said that we would not submit a bid if the cost of buying the Studley Centre plus the cost of renovating it was more than the value of the Parish Centre). We want to make it very clear that the only reason we have not made the bid is for the financial reasons explained above.
We have, however, written to WCC expressing our continued interest in the building and that if they wished to consider the possibility of disposing with it other than by selling it, we would very much like to discuss it with them. If we did not have to purchase the building then the project becomes a real possibility again.
We have an exciting vision to serve our community and we are disappointed that we were unable to submit a bid. We hope and pray that the site will not be lost to the village, particularly to our young people, and that we may get a further opportunity.
We would like to thank everyone for their help and encouragement in the past few months.
On behalf of the Studley and Mappleborough Green Parochial Church Council