The building in which we are now based has a rich heritage as both a place of worship and as a focus for the local community. Everyone in the area seems to have a story to tell about its past. Keeping the building’s heritage alive has been an important aspect of the design process; a major programme of creative projects reflecting on the building’s rich history is planned which will enable local people to contribute to the planned redevelopment of the building. Headway Arts will facilitate design-led workshops with the local community with the resulting designs incorporated into all aspects of the fabrication process from doorknobs to floors and windows.
Blyth United Reformed Church
The former United Reformed Church is a much loved local building with an interesting heritage. Nearly all local visitors to the building have a story about how they spent their childhood attending Scouts or Girl Guides, youth clubs or drama classes. Many were christened here and got married here. There are funny, sad and interesting stories and listening to them one gets the idea that it is the building’s destiny to remain at the heart of the community.
The Waterloo Road Church opened in 1876 to accommodate Presbyterians and is now a Grade II listed building considered a prime example of brick-built Gothic revival. In years gone by, its spire acted as a landmark guiding mariners back to the shelter of the port. Its grand organ was custom built by J.J. Binns of Leeds and is also Grade II listed. The church is situated within the Bondicar Conservation Area of Blyth and there is a strong local desire to preserve its heritage whilst encouraging a new use and new lease of life for the building.