Residents launch radical plan to save historic Chesterfield chapel
A radical local campaign wants Chesterfield Borough Council to think again about their proposed sale of the Spital cemetery chapels.
A new group, spearheaded by local resident Ed Fordham, will be submitting a plan requesting that the community be allowed to lead a new restoration plan.
The group - which calls itself the Spital Chapels Restoration Trust - hopes the plan will avert the sale of the chapels for housing and to keep the much-loved buildings in public ownership.
Speaking about the campaign, Ed Fordham said: “I was in the midst of structuring a book about Chesterfield’s main public cemetery to coincide with the 160th Anniversary of the Cemetery and Chapel’s opening, when the Chapel was placed on the market.
“As someone interested in local history, and committed to exciting and positive alternatives, I knew that something other than two exclusive houses was possible.
“I was also annoyed at the neglect over many years of the Chapels by the Borough Council.
“After weeks of hasty work we can now go live with our 9 commitments behind our bid to the Council.
“Our aim is to create Chesterfield Chapel Gallery, but we wanted to share with readers of the Derbyshire Times the underlying principles of what we are proposing.”
The two Chapels - one for dissenters and one for conformists were built in 1856/57 and are of the finest quality gothic architecture of the period.
The chapels, which are connected but do not access each other, sit in the middle of the Spital Cemetery.
As part of their bid, the group have released a nine point plan to establish the building as a space for the creative and technological industries in Chesterfield.
To find out more or to get involved in the campaign, contact Ed on [email protected]
You can also get in touch with the campaign on Facebook (Spital Chapels Restoration Trust) or on Twitter (@Chessie_1204).