I just wanted to let people know that I have decided to reject the proposals sent to me to develop a scheme inside St Luke’s (the bombed out church). I believe the proposals, while they are visionary and make good business sense, don’t represent what I and you the public would want for the site.
I have had conversations with Urban Strawberry Lunch, who are the people who currently put on events within the grounds of the building. They were constructive, but don’t at this time provide the security that I wish for the sustainable future of St Luke’s – however, they will be involved in the discussions and debate about any plans. Behind the scenes we have also approached the Arts Council and asked them would they support a capital funding grant for the building and their response has been really positive.
I intend therefore to engage with people already involved in St Luke’s and others with a view to trying to establish a CIC (Community Interest Company). We, the City Council, can then work with them to make a grant bid to the Arts Council and put together a plan that secures the future of St Luke’s for the City.
I have asked Roger Phillips to chair a public debate which will take place as soon as we can arrange one. The purpose will be to engage with as many people who want to help develop a plan and also to work with others to achieve what we all wish to protect and secure one of the best loved iconic buildings within our City. We will inform you when the meeting is to take place.
In the meantime we are undertaking a survey of the structure because of the damage done recently through the wind and rain, once we have that we will put it right, make it safe and open it up to the public very soon.