‘Exciting’ plans to convert historic Chichester chapel into community space

The chapel is currently in need of repair
The chapel is currently in need of repair

More than £220,000 should soon be released to help convert and extend Graylingwell Chapel, in Chichester.

The Grade II listed chapel, which is in desperate need of repair, is cared for by the Chichester Community Development Trust, which hopes to take ownership of the building later this year.

The Graylingwell Chapel building

The Graylingwell Chapel building

The trust plans to convert the chapel into a community space celebrating the area’s long association with mental health care.

It will include a memory café suitable for people with dementia, as well as being home to meeting space, exhibitions, performances and cinema showings.

Chichester District Council’s cabinet has recommended that £221,131.76 of Section 106 money be released to the trust so that the work can get under way.

Section 106 contributions are paid to the council by developers to help cover the cost of providing community and social infrastructure wherever they build.

Plans for the chapel

Plans for the chapel

The money will be added to a healthy purse built up by the trust, which has already received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £14,800 from the Architectural Heritage Fund.

In a report to the cabinet, Pam Dignum (Con, Chichester South), the council’s appointed representative on the trust board, said: “I fully support the proposed expenditure as it helps progress this valuable development central to the Graylingwell community.

“Years of careful planning have led to this exciting moment when plans to showcase the rare historical heritage of mental health will sit happily and discreetly amid a flexible, spacious, airy, multi-purpose area suitable for all ages and uses, with new café too.”

The final decision will be taken at a meeting of the full council next month.