Church Square a Community Garden

The garden area of the United Church was an underused area in the heart of the town. With support of both land owners, the United Church and the Coop the space has been transformed into an accessible seating area with a community garden and bandstand.

The story of Church Square and Garden

The Church Square is a throughfare linking the High Street shops to the retail units in Sizewell Road. The garden remains the property of the United Church and has been opened to provide access to the community. A space designed to a high standard and offering a place to relax and opportunity to enjoy occasional entertainment from performers in the the bandstand.

The completed Church Square area, see how we got here in the video below
Click the photo to see our video of Church Square

We are delighted to report that at a special awards ceremony, the Church Square regeneration was awarded the title of High Street of the Year by East Suffolk Council. Such terrific recognition for all the grant funders and contractors that that made this collaborative project possible. - Simply click on the picture above to see a short video of the before and after images.

Thanks to the East Suffolk Council's Digital Towns scheme, we have a FREE to use public WiFi zone based around the Church Square. Now when you enjoy the garden space you will be able to retain your digital connectivity and check out all the great things going on in Leiston.

We are very proud and delighted to report that our Church Square project has been recognised by the Plunkett Foundation  for an award in the Denbury Homes Community Contribution category. The awards are for community projects across the Eastern Region, covering parts of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. We received a joint Runners Up Certificate. The project was noted for the collaborative working and imaginative reuse of an underutilised space for the benefit of the community. Our huge thanks to everyone who helped deliver the project and all the grant Funders who made it possible

The performance space is getting used well

The public enjoy a performance from the Britten Pears Arts team from Snape Maltings.
A variety of local young talent provide two days of performances

Caring for the natural environment too

Our thanks to the team at Suffolk Inclusive Growth for their funding support and sharing their video with us.
To mark the completion of the work and to formally open the garden, handing it back to the Church to manage (June 2022) BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Lesley Dolphin cuts the ribbon.

Thanks to our wonderful funders and supporters

None of this would have been possible without funding from our funders and supporters who include:

Access Community Trust
Adnams Community Trust

Alan Cardy (Architect)
Aldeburgh’s amazing swifts
All Churches Trust
Arnold Clark Community Fund
Beacon lighting

Chris, Bayfield Electrical
Coastal Building Supplies
Dayes Housewares (Leiston)
Duncan & Son builders
East of England Coop
East Suffolk Council

EDF Sizewell B apprentices
Galloper Wind Farm Fund
Garfield Weston Foundation

Harry Wild (Handyman Harry)
Hopkins Homes
John Balls

Leiston Plant Hire
Leiston Town Council

Leiston Press
Lord Belstead Trust
Magnox (Sizewell A)
Moncrieff Charitable Trust
Mr & Mrs Campion
Mrs L D Rope Charitable Settlement
Persimmon Homes
Plunket Foundation
Scarfe Charitable Trust
Strangward Trust
Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB Grant Fund

Suffolk County Council Locality Budget
Suffolk Community Fund
Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund
The National Lottery Community Fund

The Nichol Young Foundation
Tudwick Foundation
United Church - Leiston

How it all started

The high wall was eyesore and was the first part of the project - November 2021

On the south side of the Leiston United Church hidden behind an enormous wall was an enclosed space that offered a real opportunity for development. The wall separated the Church land from the Co-op car park. Consequently, the CLT proposed that the wall could be removed, thus opening the space making the space brighter and more accessible to the community.

Slowly and with a lot of hammering the wall was removed and the space opened up for all to see

The CLT spoke with the United Church as landowners and presented the proposal to the congregation and elders. They were enthusiastic about the church community garden concept. In addition, the church has been developing its own plans to refurbish and develop the historic church building. New bi-fold doors have been fitted along with improved accessibility ramping to make access easier. This has opened up a new space outside the church; it can be equally enjoyed by the congregation and hall users.

Take a look our concept design video

Thanks to Roger Gladwell Landscapes
Keep in touch and stay informed
Come and visit us at 22 Sizewell Road, Leiston.

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