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Views wanted on plans to transform Lancaster church into hub for city businesses

St John's Church on North Road in Lancaster

Your views are wanted on plans to transform a Lancaster church into "a place to do business, work from, meet and socialise".

The Chamber at St John’s project will see St John's church revamped from a redundant building at risk to a vibrant landmark in Lancaster city centre.

The Georgian chapel on North Road will be refurbished to create dedicated offices, open plan dedicated desks, co-working desks, meeting spaces, an event space and a café open to the public, as well as landscaped gardens.

The repurposed church will be leased to Lancaster and Morecambe Chamber of Commerce and will provide a physical ‘Chamber’ for the organisation to build and grow a networked community of entrepreneurs to help Lancaster prosper.

The Chamber at St John’s will be multi-purpose: used predominantly by the business community of Lancaster during office hours, it will be open to the public for concerts, talks, community events and heritage open days in the evenings and at weekends.

During the working week, the Chamber aim to build a community of co-workers, with a range of membership offers so that people can use the space for casual hot-desking or more regular co-working, or can rent a dedicated desk or a private office, with membership also offering use of meeting rooms, printers, and other facilities

Lancaster and Morecambe Chamber of Commerce would like your feedback on the proposal to help refine the plans.

And if you are interested in working from a beautiful and historic heritage setting, the chamber would like to know to help demonstrate demand to secure funding.  

“The Chamber at St John’s will add a place-based offer to our strategy to connect, support and represent the interests of employers and businesses in Lancaster and Morecambe," said Chris Gardner, chamber president, and from local accountancy practice Waters and Atkinson.

Chris is pictured below, centre, with Jon Powell (Chamber past president) and Tarnia Elsworth (vice-president).

"This will be a place to do business, to work from, to meet and socialise.

"We need to know if you would use the Chamber and St John’s, and if so how to help shape the offer so we can make this a reality for the people, businesses, charities and social enterprises in Lancaster and Morecambe”.  

The project has been co-designed through a partnership between The Churches Conservation Trust and Lancaster & Morecambe Chamber of Commerce. 

Here are some artist's impressions of how the new hub might look.

The team is currently working with Mosedale Gillatt Architects Limited to develop a scheme that will repair the historic fabric of the building, transform the interior to create working spaces on the ground floor and gallery, private offices, and a café area, with plans for an extension to the north which will house supporting facilities including further offices, a large meeting room, and WCs and shower.

The churchyard will be landscaped and open to the public, offering outdoor seating and a place for reflection. 

The survey can be found here. 

For more details on the plans for the Chamber at St John’s please visit here. 

Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce is an independent membership organisation connecting, supporting and representing businesses in North Lancashire.

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