Focus on...Jubilee Central
Public realm works in Hull city centre are set to pave the way to a new era for a landmark church.
Pedestrianisation of King Edward Street has prompted leaders at Jubilee Central to embark on a major refurbishment programme at their building which is the former Central Methodist Hall and the old NatWest Bank.
The project, which is expected to cost around £150,000, will include removing the façade which was installed in the 1950s to reveal the original stonework of a building which dates back more than 100 years.
A second phase is likely to see the former banking hall converted into a café, with outdoor seating to make the most of the space which will become available as a result of the current city centre makeover.
Steve Whittington, church leader, said: “The pedestrianisation is the best thing that could have happened to us. It will give our building greater visibility. Our planning application will be going in any day now.”
The church was opened in Hull by Newfrontiers 10 years ago and it bought the current building in 2012. In addition to a full programme of church services for a community of 350 and a regular Sunday congregation of 250 – from 24 different nations – the building provides a base for a wide range of other activities.
It is the home of Hull Food Bank, it provides support for homeless people and it delivers courses in skills including cookery and guitar lessons. Jubilee Central also provides addiction support services and mental health support.
The property comprises more than 25 rooms, from the 700-seat main auditorium, which housed this year’s Radio Humberside pantomime, and a smaller hall with a capacity of 200 right down to small meeting rooms and offices for the seven-strong team of employees who are supported by more than 100 volunteers.
But Mr Whittington said ambitions to enhance the environment and the services are hampered by the condition of the frontage.
He said: “If people look up they will see a beautiful building but, at ground level, it was covered with unattractive green tiles. The bus stop outside didn’t help, and for years the frontage has been dark, ugly and unwelcoming.
“But now the bus stop has gone, King Edward Street is going to look so much nicer and we want to play our part by opening up the original frontage of the building. We hope to get that part of the project done within the next year.”
Kathryn Shillito, HullBID City Centre Manager, said: “Jubilee Central is doing some important work in the city and we’ve provided some help to promote their services. The building itself has so much potential and it’s great to see that they are planning their own investment programme to enable them to make the most of the opportunities presented by the public realm works.”
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Focus on...Jubilee Central
Public realm works in Hull city centre are set to pave the way to a new era for a landmark church. Pedestrianisation of King Edward Street has prompted leaders at Jubilee Central to embark on a major refurbishment programme at their building which is the former Central Methodist Hall.