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HERITAGE

Otley Methodist Church consists of four distinct parts:  ​​

Main Chapel

The Main Chapel

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The Rear Buildings

The Wesley Hall

The Caretaker's Cottage

The main church was built around 1875 and was designed by Edward Taylor of York.​

 

​The Wesley Hall was built next door in 1905 to serve as a Sunday School and recreational hall, and became well known for its Gilbert and Sullivan plays. The lecture and youth halls were built at the rear on Walkergate along with the Church parlour. The caretaker's house was built at this time.​​

Alterations to the Church Sanctuary were made in 1975 with the insertion of a new glazed vestibule on Boroughgate and the Upper Gallery was reduced in size with a new partition screen inserted.  ​

In 2002 a new entrance from Walkergate was added.

FUTURE

Award winning local architect Stefanie Stead MBE has been working on the design and implementation of a phased masterplan for the buildings. This will create a sustainable, accesible building that will work with and enhance the heritage whilst providing all the facilities you would expect of a 21st century community hub. 

We will retain the grandeur of the Chapel, making it available for speakers, concerts, and weddings. The Wesley Hall will become a community café and common space, with rentable studios in the former Sunday School Rooms. It will also be available for exhibitions and events. "Room 2" will retain its purpose as a multi-use community space, available to rent. The "Parlour" is the current entrance hall but will be repurposed as a hot-desking space for local businesses and community groups. "Room 3" will become a dedicated youth space. This will help enable over 100 years of Scouting to continue in the building, but also open opportunities for other youth groups.

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Phase 1 

September 2024 - August 2025

Works will comprise the creation of the open atrium, with a new compliant ramp, new door, lighting and planting. The corridors will be refreshed to create a bright entrance area with gallery space. The Parlour will be transformed into a new coworking space whilst the former Sunday school classrooms will become studio spaces for small business, entrepreneurs and artists. Wi-Fi will be installed throughout the building.

Phase 2 

January 2026 - December 2026

Works will focus on the lecture and youth halls, with fresh redecoration and acoustic treatment throughout, making both rooms accesible and welcoming for neurodiverse people. 

Phase 3 

Date TBC

The decarbonisation programme will form the third Phase. The works will comprise the replacement of the existing boiler with air source heat pumps and new efficient radiators throughout the property. We will be looking to replace the windows to the studio spaces and install secondary glazing to where this is not possible. Insulation to roof voids is included as well as improvements throughout. Lighting, where possible,
will be replaced with efficient LED lighting.

Phase 4 

Date TBC

Glazing over the ‘open atrium’ to form a closed atrium. This work would also include for a new lift that would connect each of the level differences in the building. The glazed atrium will specifically create a space for the cafe and bar to expand into, an exhibition space and foyer for performances. This phase will look at breaking through to the chapel to create a level entrance. The heritage officer is supportive of this proposal. The first floor works would include new accessible WCs.

 

Phase 5 

Date TBC

Works to the chapel to repair the water damage to the balcony area, install a new handrail to the balcony, install new lighting, acoustics and AV.

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