A HUGE fundraising effort has kicked off aiming to raise £500,000 to transform a Fareham church into a community hub.
Holy Trinity Church in Fareham is in the first stages of receiving a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will enable it to start its High Time project.
The scheme will see the church in West Street restore its clock tower and Victorian clock – which hasn’t worked since August 2011.
Along with the clock, the church aims to revamp the hall for community events and put in new catering facilities.
The whole project will cost around £500,000.
The lottery grant, if successful, will kick-start the project.
Reverend Sally Davenport, from the church, said: ‘At the moment, we’re in the first phase of funding with the Heritage Lottery Fund.
‘It has given us development funding of £28,800 which we need to match.
‘That money will allow us to do surveys and get a better estimate at how much the work is going to cost us and what needs to be done.
‘After that, we will then be applicable for further funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will finish the project.’
Along with restoring the clock, both interior and exterior work will be carried out on the tower, which has structural problems.
Once the tower is restored, the clock can be fixed and two bells will be installed.
Then the church will look to the main building, which will include a place for children to play and an improved area for community groups and activities to take place.
They also hope to open a cafe.
Mrs Davenport said: ‘The work to the building is perhaps the most exciting part for me because a church isn’t just in use on a Sunday.
‘It can be used throughout the week by groups and the grant is a great opportunity to make some big changes.’
Once they receive the funding, the church has a time period in which to complete the works.
They expect it to be finished by the end of 2015.
Mark Hoban, Fareham MP, said: ‘Holy Trinity’s clock and tower are great Fareham landmarks.
‘The whole community will need to come together to achieve this and the Heritage Lottery Fund grant is a great start.’