Sudbury Gasworks was built in 1874 by renowned architect George Devey, famed for his work on many country estates, including commissions for the Rothschild family.
The picturesque building produced gas from coal which was piped to Sudbury Hall, as well as many houses in the village, until the 1930s. The building now stands empty, with noticeable deterioration.
Sudbury Gasworks Restoration Trust
In 2013, volunteers from the village formed Sudbury Gasworks Restoration Trust (SGRT), a Building Preservation Trust, which aims to save the building and adapt it to serve the community once again.
Having negotiated a 99-year lease from the Sudbury Estate, the Sudbury Gasworks Restoration Trust intend to rescue, preserve and refurbish this ‘at risk’ building to provide a modern community resource and make a real difference to the Parish and wider area.
Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, and with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and others, we are now able to realise our ambitions of rescuing and restoring Sudbury Gasworks.
The Project: Sudbury Gasworks: Rescued and Restored
Thanks to National Lottery players, we were awarded major funding in March 2020 from the Heritage Fund. This will mean that not only will the building be conserved and developed, but we will be able to engage volunteers and the local community to document and promote the history of the gasworks and the industrial development of the Sudbury Estate, as well as researching and interpreting the wider historical context of Sudbury, thus preserving this heritage for future generations.
In summary, our project aims are to:
- Restore, conserve and refurbish the gas house structure and site;
- Research, document and archive the Gasworks history and the wider context of the village, engaging the local community in the process;
- Extend the building with sympathy for the original structure and equip it with services and facilities to ensure future sustainability;
- Provide a flexible, vibrant and accessible community facility for the people of Sudbury and beyond
The project is also supported by other funders including the Architectural Heritage Fund.
The trustees’ experience includes working with historic and listed buildings, business advice and business management, people management, volunteer management, human resources and administration. There are strong connections between the trustees and the local community, via links to the Parish Council, the Bowls Club and local businesses. The current trustees of SGRT are:
Timothy Webber BSc BDS, Chair
Tim is a dental surgeon, business owner and entrepreneur. Tim has served on the committees of rowing clubs for 24 years, in the capacities of Captain, Secretary and Treasurer. Tim is experienced in renovating historic and listed buildings as self-funded investments. This has involved gaining change of use permission; facilitating disabled access in a Grade II listed building and installing technologies to achieve carbon neutral status.
Lisa Baggot, Trust Treasurer
Lisa is the Director of her own business The Old Potting Shed LTD, which she began 7 years ago as something to occupy her time. After becoming disabled Lisa found sign painting a fantastic form of distraction therapy, but it soon became a very busy online business. Lisa had to quickly learn about websites, cash flow, accounting, marketing and everything else that comes with running your own business. She had previously spent 13 years in banking, which set her in good stead, being organised and having customer service at the heart of everything. Lisa’s daughter Ava, will be the 4th generation of the family to live and work in the village and are very excited to see the gasworks transformation.
Kirstie Filby, Trust Secretary
Kirstie has a long working background in both retail management and apprenticeship delivery and management but now works at the National Trust property in the village, Sudbury Hall. Her current role is that of Visitor Operations and Experience Manager and she has a very active role in the day to day running of all aspects of the Heritage experience. Originally from Sheffield, Kirstie moved to Sudbury 3 years ago and is now excited to be taking a more active role in village life through the Gasworks project.
Gillian’s background is secretarial/administration/management support. She has recently completed an NVQ L3 Customer Services, Emergency First Aid at Work, and L2 in Food Safety and Catering – all useful for the project. She is the Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults Officer for Sudbury Church. Gillian is a Bank Medical Secretary working for the Burton Hospitals NHS Trust in the Department of Medicine and Diagnostics, providing secretarial and administrative support, wherever needed. She currently works 3 days per week. Gillian was also Chair of SGRT from 2015 to 2018.
Creative Director of Growing Rural Enterprise Ltd, a private sector business based in The Old Estate Office, Sudbury. Julie is an SFEDI accredited Business Adviser and Social Enterprise Adviser. She has a Foundation Degree in Project Management and OCN Leadership in Rural Communities.
Terry is Chairman of Sudbury Bowls Club with vast experience of people management, having spent 35 years in production management and running his own business. Terry is experienced in supervising volunteers and has co-ordinated the gasworks site clearance work to date, successfully involving inmates from Sudbury Prison.
Anna Massey Fryer
After graduating from Newcastle University with a BSc in Agriculture and an MSc in Crop Protection from Harper Adams University College, Anna took over the management of the family farm at Sudbury Park. Over the last 18 years she has built up a successful arable and contracting business. Anna balances this with many other responsibilities such as being a member of the Staffordshire Agricultural Society and local NFU branch, a member of Sudbury PCC, running the school’s uniform shop as well as a busy mum of two. Anna has experience in local fundraising as well as business and organisational skills.
Brice, a father of two, has over 25 years engineering experience having been apprentice trained on machine tools moving into project management, electronics and computing thus giving him a wide breadth of knowledge and experience leading to consultancy. He has undertaken various building projects and has drafted building plans within CAD, and has experience of solar, air source heat pumps and biomass products. He is an active Cub Scout leader of 2nd Hodnet Scouts in Shropshire and sits on their committee. He thrives on a challenge and has a ‘can do’ attitude.