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RIBA Awards - Shortlist success for Community and Cultural Hub

Today the shortlist for the 2023 RIBA Awards were announced, and our project, 17Nineteen for the Churches Conservation Trust has been selected. The range of projects on show are testament to the quality of architecture in the region, and it is a privilege to have a project in the shortlist for the second year running.

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

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. Transforming the church into ‘17Nineteen’ has been a huge journey involving hundreds of individuals and organisations.

The project focussed on making the building safe, sustainable and functional for a 21st Century audience with extensive repair works and adaptation, including new contemporary seating, WC pods and a café servery.

This 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 4 years old donned PPE and took part in school/college learning sessions and 78 different trades were involved.

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