The last service at Thomas Coats Memorial Church took place during August 2018 and the church is now closed. Unless action is taken to implement an effective care and maintenance programme, it is considered likely that TCMC will steadily fall into a state of disrepair from which it will be difficult to recover without a massive injection of funds.
During May 2017 a Steering Group (SC) was formed comprising Trustees of Thomas Coats Memorial Church and others with expertise in venue design, the law, finance, theatre and project management. At the first meeting of the SC it was agreed that the Project had sufficient merit to progress to the next stage of the development of a business plan. The SC commissioned several surveys which confirmed that the building was in sound condition and that it was feasible to carry out the conversion works.
The SC then formed the Coats Memorial Preservation Trust (CMPT) to raise the necessary funds to convert the building. CMPT will then identify a trading company to acquire a lease of TCMC, manage the conversion works and transform the premises into a world class multi-purpose entertainment and hospitality space, market the facilities and operate the Site on a profitable and self-sustaining basis. Lease monies paid by the tenant to CMPT will ensure that the charitable organisation can maintain the building over the long term.
An offer of lease has already been made by CMC Ltd which is owned by a party related to the trustees and this offer may be viewed as both the key driver for the current plan and as a safety net in case a better offer does not materialise. It should be noted that the offer from CMC Ltd will be considered together with any other offer that may be presented during the fundraising period. The trustees of CMPT will consider all offers on their merit and select the offer that will deliver the most sustainable outcome for Thomas Coats.
CMPT is aiming to raise the sum of £1.5 million over a 100-day campaign to fund the conversion works.