Melton’s foodbank set to expand by moving to town’s former chapel

From left, outside the former baptist chapel in Melton - which is due to become the new HQ for the Melton Vineyard Church -  Back Row, Tom Woodhead and Gary Roche (Woodhead Group), Abi Powell (Hookway Design), Andrew Banister (Scape Group), Tom Allen (Artistic Industries) and Neal Swettenham, of Melton Vineyard Church; Front Row, Phil Johnson, Alison Johnson, Maria Twittey, Eluned Owen and'Bernie Carter, all of Melton Vineyard Church EMN-190528-154918001
From left, outside the former baptist chapel in Melton - which is due to become the new HQ for the Melton Vineyard Church - Back Row, Tom Woodhead and Gary Roche (Woodhead Group), Abi Powell (Hookway Design), Andrew Banister (Scape Group), Tom Allen (Artistic Industries) and Neal Swettenham, of Melton Vineyard Church; Front Row, Phil Johnson, Alison Johnson, Maria Twittey, Eluned Owen and'Bernie Carter, all of Melton Vineyard Church EMN-190528-154918001
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Organisers of Melton’s only foodbank are moving the service to a redundant church building which will enable them to support more homeless and disadvantaged people in the borough.

Melton Vineyard Church is currently having the former baptist chapel in Nottingham Street refurbished to pave the way for its Storehouse service to relocate from The Fox Inn, on Leicester Street.

The new premises will be called the Hope Centre when it opens in October and because it is more than double the size of the current building being used there will be enhanced facilities there, which will include a shower for use by rough sleepers.

The food bank, which offers food, clothing, bedding and baby equipment to those in need and a place for people to meet, will be expanded too and operate from the rear of the building.

Members will also continue to offer practical and emotional guidance to those who need it.

The front part of the former chapel will house a shop front and be a multi-purpose space for hosting exhibitions, coffee morning and other community events.

Funding for the project has come via generous donations from church members, the Samworth Foundation and Trent Vineyard, a Nottingham-based church which supports with Christian values.

Neal Swettenham, of Melton Vineyard Church, said “We are incredibly grateful for these gifts, which have made the project possible and we are looking forward to opening the centre later this year.”

Melton Vineyard Church, which will run its organisations from the Hope Centre, aims to offer a wide range of services from the refurbished building, which will also incorporate confidential counselling rooms for its recently-established listening service, Breathing Space.

Architects firm, Artistic Industries, interior designers, Hookway Design, structural engineers, Pick Everard, and property and construction consultants, Ridge, have been working to develop a space that is flexible and welcoming, with community rooms on the ground floor and an area called The Loft above.

The Loft will be a fully accessible space with a new lift to provide a dedicated venue for toddler groups, events, functions and performance.

The refurbishment, which is being delivered by contractors the Woodhead Group, will give the church a visible and modern presence in the heart of the community.

Leo Woodhead, director of the Woodhead Group, said: “We have been working collaboratively with the team using innovative technology to investigate the fabric of the building by conducting a drone survey of the roof to save scaffolding costs and working to find solutions that best fit within the budget,”

The scheme was procured through Scape Venture, which is designed to ensure that privately-funded projects deliver positive community impact and value for money.

The company’s chief executive, Mark Robinson, said: “The Melton Vineyard Church refurbishment illustrates perfectly the benefits of the Scape Venture framework. “By bringing together the very best of public and private procurement expertise this fantastic community initiative will be delivered with certainty and efficiency.”