A £4.8 MILLION scheme to turn a neglected and vandalised church into a space age community centre has been hailed by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and shortlisted for an English Heritage award.
The Angel Award nomination also recognises the work done by the man driving the 10-year campaign to get the project at All Souls Church, in Felton Walk, Bolton, off the ground.
However, chairman of All Souls Bolton — the group formed to administer the community centre — Inayat Omarji said he wanted none of the glory associated with the prestigious nomination.
Mr Omarji said: “It’s come out of the blue. The Churches Conservation Trust, the owners and our national partners, put myself and the project up for the award.
“It’s all about the partnership, the project, the 10 years of hard work behind it, and the community.”
Mr Ormaji said that organisers were now eagerly anticipating the opening of the state-of-the-art building within a building, scheduled for November.
He said: “The opening is round the corner. It will be great to see this beautiful, crafted building come alive again.
“A hundred years ago it was place for the people who worked in the mills of Bolton to come and reflect. Now the mills have more or less disappeared. It will serve another purpose for the whole community.
“It’s about conserving a historic building for the whole of Bolton.”
The Angel Awards were founded in 2011 by Lord Lloyd Webber to celebrate the efforts of individuals and local groups all over the country who put hours of hard work, passion and perseverance into saving vulnerable, damaged and derelict historic landmarks from being lost forever.
A star-studded, red carpet awards ceremony takes place at the Palace Theatre in London on November 3, hosted by Lord Lloyd Webber.
English Heritage is inviting members of the public to visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/angelawards to see the shortlist and to vote.