Saving church will be a 'boost for the town centre'

The possibility of reopening a former Stourbridge church being hailed as a boost for the town centre by campaigners.

St John’s United Reformed Church went on the market after closing its doors following its final service in January. 

Now dance academy, Danse Vivante, said that plans are still in place for the group to use their 'funds and love' to turn the historic building into a community space.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, who represents the Wollaston and Stourbridge Town ward, said he hoped that the site would have a 'long and successful' life ahead. He said: 

"It is great news that the building will be utilised for the purpose of a business. Its a good boost for the town centre as a whole too.

"A lot of the time these buildings may be converted into accommodation, so it great that [the group] are thinking differently about utilising it.

"I am hopeful that this will attract others to join forces and then it may have a better chance of taking off in the area. I can see this having a long and successful life ahead."

Dance Vivante said that plans were still in place to buy the building, which has sat derelict since its last service in January.

Pippa Coley, who has trained with the dance academy for four years, said that their offer had been received, despite a slight delay. She explained: 

"We are waiting to hear further at the moment, but our offer has been put forward. We would love to have the building."

The group says that they hope to keep the building intact, with it being Grade II listed, but there would be minor alterations inside.

Speaking earlier this year, Ms Coley explained: “The roof needs fixing but we have plans to make the inside usable for lots of different places.

“We have the funds but now we need the support and awareness and the backing of the community.”

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