The Saints

The purchase and restoration of this local heritage building will deliver a new training and enterprise space, along with four incubation units and new community space.  It will provide training for people to become work ready, increase confidence and aspirations and provide support to new start-ups, supporting the delivery of £8.6m social value.

The Saints occupies the former Conservative Club in Nuneaton town centre, a 4-storey heritage asset built in 1898, which is one of the most prominent buildings within the town. The building is in a poor state of repair and two stories are derelict. Without the support of the Town’s Fund, significant parts of the building would remain empty and the asset would not be available for community use.

The Saints project was set up in 2019 by Together for Change(TFC), which is a registered charity (charity number 1160113) and a joint venture of the Diocese of Coventry and Church Urban Fund. The Saints is a town centre community regeneration project focused on tackling unemployment, poor educational attainment and low aspirations, with a particular focus on young people and families. The project also provides opportunities for new entrepreneurs.

Building on the renovation work already undertaken by the Saints and in order to increase the community services being delivered, this project aims to:

  • purchase the property and renovate the main hall on the first floor. The Borough Council will become the new owners and will lease the building to the Saints project at a peppercorn rent. This will enable the project to be sustainable for the long term, as there will be high income generation capacity through room hire, events and sales and also the elimination of the current rent. In addition, the building comes complete with four flats on the second floor and a restaurant next door, the rents from which would bring in sustainable income for the project, alongside any income generated by the centre. This would then help to cross-subsidise the charitable activities that are being undertaken by Together for Change;
  • refurbish the disused first floor ballroom to provide a space for people to engage in sports, dance, drama, music, art and creative digital media supported by local creative experts; and
  • facilitate online learning, enabling classes to be livestreamed from the centre, and to create a space where Saints laptops can be booked out for the public to work online. It will target all age ranges, with particular focus on younger cohorts to support career opportunities, as well as older cohorts to build online skills thus tackling the digital poverty experienced by large sections of the Nuneaton community.

Funding: the total project budget is £1,867,090. £1,807,000 of Towns Fund will primarily be used to acquire the site in order to safeguard the future of the Saints operation. The remaining money will be spent on the refurbishment of the building to bring the facility up to modern standards and make it accessible for all, as well as refurbishing the former ballroom at the first floor. Co-funding is being provided from Together for Change, Lovell, and the Higgs Trust.

Renovation works are anticipated to commence in early 2023 with the aim of completion later in the same year.

The Saints Nuneaton