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Lotto joy for Lowestoft church

PUBLISHED: 10:18 03 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:41 06 July 2010

Rev Mark McCaghrey with the plans to convert St Andrew's Church, Lowestoft.

Rev Mark McCaghrey with the plans to convert St Andrew's Church, Lowestoft.

A GROUND-BREAKING project is poised to breathe new life into Lowestoft.

The Roman Hill community was this week celebrating after receiving a six-figure National Lottery sum towards the transformation of St Andrew's Church.

A GROUND-BREAKING project is poised to breathe new life into Lowestoft.

The Roman Hill community was this week celebrating after receiving a six-figure National Lottery sum towards the transformation of St Andrew's Church.

The £437,316 windfall for the church, in Roman Road, will boost a £680,000 trail-blazing initiative to support families in one of the region's most deprived areas.

Through the Access All Areas project, St Andrew's will become one of the first churches in Waveney and Norfolk to extend its use.

It will be transformed so it can offer a wide range of services and become a community hub for locals.

The project means a new chapter for the the building after more than 100 years of active church involvement.

Numerous activities, including sessions for parents and tots as well as drug support services, already happen in the building.

By the time the project has been completed there will be two halls, a community café, meeting rooms and new activities for people of all ages.

The Access All Areas project will increase the number of regular users to more than 750.

Ideas for the future include having a drama group, holiday events for children and youngsters, providing a place where people can sit and enjoy peace and quiet, setting up an information and advice area and creating activities that will involve young and older people working together.

The Rev Mark McCaghrey, the vicar at St Andrew's, said: “This is a pioneering project which will help many people. The building will become a place that brings the community together. We are thrilled that the Big Lottery Fund has caught the vision for our project and is helping us to fulfil our mission in the local area.

“We are looking forward to bringing the community's dreams into reality and working with people across the area to make it a success.”

And churchwarden Gill Gabb said: “We are grateful for this investment in Roman Hill and excited about the changes the project will bring to people's lives.”

St Andrew's is one of 55 projects across England to receive money from the Big Lottery Fund's community building programme.

And, with the £437,316 in lottery cash, the church has received £105,000 from neighbourhood management group Lowestoft Together, £40,000 from the Norwich Diocese and £15,000 from Suffolk County Council.

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