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Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund visits award winning Quay Place

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), visited to Quay Place this week.

Along with the Head of HLF in East of England, Robyn Llewellyn, he learnt about the exciting projects staff at Quay Place have been working on and the impact National Lottery funding has had. These include an upcoming exhibition about Henry and Alice Tooley, who contributed much of their wealth to the people of Ipswich.

For one of the Heritage Open days on 15th September 2018, Quay Place is working with the Tooley Court Alms Houses to explore and discover the Tooleys contribution to Ipswich. The original Tooley brasses will be loaned to Quay Place from Ipswich museum and reproductions of original documents from the Suffolk Records Office will be on display.

Manager of Quay Place, Ginny Idehen welcomed the guests to the building: “It was great to have Sir Peter Luff and Robyn Llewellyn here at Quay Place to show them what we have achieved in the last few years, and what we are looking to do in the future. Without the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players, our work at Quay Place would not be possible”.

Quay Place, which is run by mental health charity Suffolk Mind, opened in November 2016 after conservation work that rescued the derelict church originally built in the 1450s. It’s grade II* listed and is one of three medieval churches in the old dockland area of Ipswich. By 2008, decay and the effects of a Victorian concrete floor threatened a crumbling fate for the building. The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) and Suffolk Mind stepped in, after successfully applying for £3.6 million of National Lottery money to repair the church, converting it into a venue for events and meetings.

It is now being used for complementary therapies, mind and body exercise classes, workplace wellbeing training, and heritage activities.

Sir Peter said: “I came here when this was a building site and I was so keen to come back and see it as a finished project and I’m really excited about what I’ve seen here.

He continued: “This is an old building doing what it should do, serving the community in all kinds of ways it never imagined when it was built. It is a fantastic project, Suffolk Mind and the CCT should be congratulated on a really well thought through scheme which is doing exactly what Ipswich needs and I’m delighted to be here to see it for myself”.