St Alban's church is a designated Grade II* listed building designed by the famous Victorian architect AWN Pugin and is described by Historic England as a "church of exceptional interest among the works of this major architect". The church was designed in 1838 and built between 1839 and 1841 - an excellent example of his early Perpendicular Gothic. Some of the money needed to build it was given by the Earl of Shrewsbury; the total cost was about £8,000 (equivalent to £670,000 in 2016).
The project will secure the roof and stonework of the tower, prevent water penetration and protect the structure for future generations. The main entrance and organ will also be safeguarded. This work should go towards removing the building from Historic England’s Heritage At Risk register. The project will repair the roof coverings, parapet gutters, masonry, glazing and roof drainage which are all in very poor condition.
Top tips from completed project feedback:
- Consider the timing of external capital works to try and avoid winter periods. Be sure to build in some 'slack' into the program to counter unexpected problems
- Check out the level of VAT you will be able to re-claim in advance where possible; there was an element of our project that meant we were not entitled to 100% reclaim on valid VAT payments and this meant we had to make up the shortfall
- Stay well-communicated with your professional and volunteer teams, but also the local community and funders
- Network and share learning and experiences to minimise your learning curve and theirs!
- Be proactive in tackling potential problems and devising solutions
- Keep your funders informed
- Consider costing in a project manager to allow them time to actively manage the project as effectively as possible.