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Holy Trinity is a Grade1 listed redundant church that was on Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk Register’ – it has now been transformed for the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) with a £2.6m restoration project. Successfully delivered through a global pandemic thanks to a proactive, collaborative project team and skilled heritage craftspeople ‘17Nineteen’ has become an amazing new community and cultural hub for the City of Sunderland.


This hugely complex and challenging project was led by Mosedale Gillatt Architects and comprised a team of over 200 people working to deliver a conservation-led restoration in parallel with community engagement. Throughout the project 784 people took part in a Public Craft Skills Programme, 235 students as young as 4years old donned PPE and took part in school/college learning sessions, 12 people undertook work placements and 78 different trades were involved.


Built in 1719 Holy Trinity  was unique in that it served a dual role for both worship and civic administration. It has watched over a million lives yet its own stories have remained hidden. Its people have been at the centre of decisions regarding sanitation, poverty, law, and it even became a fire station with its own fire cart.


The project focused making the building safe, sustainable and functional for a 21st Century audience with extensive conservation repair works including roof repairs, replacement of the majority of windows, masonry repair, decorative joinery and wall panelling, repointing, ornate plaster repairs and redecoration.


Sensitive adaptation works included new contemporary WC pods; café servery and bespoke furniture all integrated into the interpretation.

Photo credits - Furniture (Rupert McBain), Mike Veitch



Churches Conservation Trust

grade I  |  repair  |  restoration  | 

contemporary intervention  |  bespoke furniture

2024 HIGHLY COMMENDED - Civic Trust AABC Conservation Awards

2023 WINNER - RIBA Building of the Year (North-East), Conservation Award and Regional Award

2022 WINNER - Georgian Group Architectural Awards (Best Re-use of a Georgian Building)

2022 WINNER - Museums + Heritage Awards (Restoration or Conservation Project of the Year)

2022 WINNER - Constructing Excellence North East Awards (Conservation and Regeneration)

2022 HIGHLY COMMENDED - Constructing Excellence National Awards (Conservation and Regeneration)

2022 HIGHLY COMMENDED - Brick Awards (Refurbishment)

“it’s beautiful, calm and welcoming, not what I expected to find in Sunderland ... the quality of the new interventions, the pods and such, is wonderful, really clean and honest”


Architectural Heritage Fund Visit (various)

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