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Quay Place Closure

The board of trustees and leadership team of mental health charity, Suffolk Mind, has taken the tough decision to close Quay Place heritage and wellbeing centre, in Ipswich.

The building was opened in November 2016 following an eight-year project with the Churches Conservation Trust to restore St Mary at the Quay church.

The project was funded mainly by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, but has been costly to run since its opening. A challenging location in the middle of the Star Lane one-way system, the building has grown income at more than 20% each year, but not quickly enough to cover the expensive running costs including maintenance of a medieval church, utility bills and staffing.

Once the remainder of the Lottery grant had been spent, Suffolk Mind was about to start subsidising the building out of its own income and reserves. Due to the impact of Coronavirus and the government lockdown, the board felt this was a subsidy the charity could no longer afford.

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “It’s really sad to have to make a decision like this. Quay Place has been part of Suffolk Mind for many years now, and it holds a special place in the hearts of many staff, volunteers and people who visited.

“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved, but also sad that we haven’t been able to get the costs and income to a place where we can keep Quay Place open.

“Suffolk Mind is, first and foremost, a mental health charity. We have a responsibility to help as many people as we can in a way that is financially viable and sustainable and that makes the biggest difference.”

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