A team led by Hugh Broughton Architects has won a two-stage OJEU tender to restore and transform Sheerness Dockyard Church, in the Sheerness Dockyard Conservation Area on the Isle of Sheppey in north Kent. The commissioning client is Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust, and the construction value is approximately £4.1 million.
The practice won the commission based on an outline approach to the restoration of the building and surrounding site. The competition drew 58 expressions of interest. Alongside Hugh Broughton Architects, the shortlisted practices were Dow Jones Architects, Julian Harrap Architects, Purcell and Shepheard Epstein Hunter.
Hugh Broughton Architects’ team comprises Martin Ashley Architects (conservation specialists), Hockley & Dawson (structural engineers), Harley Haddow (M&E engineers) and Ramboll (acoustics consultants).
Earlier this year Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Heritage Enterprise grant to safeguard the existing elements of the badly fire-damaged church and create a business incubator hub for local young people, an exhibition area for an extraordinary 1600 square feet early 19th century architectural model of the historic dockyard, a restaurant and an events space. The revitalised building will be operated by the London Youth Support Trust, a charity working across the UK to help young people establish financial independence through entrepreneurship, by providing business incubation units and on-site advice and support.
The Grade II* listed Dockyard Church (1828) was designed by George Ledwell Taylor, Surveyor of Buildings to the Navy. It suffered a major fire in 1881, but was re-built. In 2001 the church suffered a second catastrophic fire. The historical value of the church lies in its robust naval architecture, its relationship with the dockyard and the surrounding settlement that grew up around it, and its place at the heart of the community, where naval, military and civilians came together. The resurrected venue is expected to bring much-needed inward investment, business development and economic activity to an area that has suffered the effects of long-term deprivation.
The project is anticipated to commence in 2018, so that the building can reopen at the end of 2021.