Restoration delayed

THE START date of major restoration work to Kennaway House has been delayed until March to avoid removing the roof in bad weather.

THE START date of major restoration work to Kennaway House has been delayed until March to avoid removing the roof in bad weather.With its renaming, ownership of Sidmouth's former Regency Church House has been officially transferred to a new registered charity, Kennaway House.Dr Mike James, chairman of the new charity, who has led the campaign to save the building, told the Herald: "We will be announcing the contractor and the date shortly. The restoration will be going ahead as planned. "But don't forget that the last £200,000 of the funds has come from a loan from East Devon Council, so we shall also be fund-raising hard this year to pay off a large part of that."A fundraising concert for Kennaway House refurbishment will be given by performers John and Jacqui Kitchiner and other musicians in Sidmouth parish church on Saturday, April 5. The Charity Commission officially wound up the old Church House Trust on January 17, making an order formally closing the trust and transferring ownership of the building and other assets to the new charity.The charity's objectives will be to promote lifelong learning for adults and children, the arts, exhibitions and heritage activities in collaboration with other organisations such as the Heritage Centre and Jurassic Coast. When refurbishment takes place, the house and garden will also be available for hire for major social events such as civil weddings, wedding receptions and dinners. In future there will be no connection with Exeter Diocese, which has caused much confusion in the past, although the parish church will be able to continue to rent space in Kennaway House like other organisations in Sidmouth. Mr James said: "This is good news. For the first time in 103 years, Kennaway House is owned completely by the trustees of a local charity, responsible to the people of Sidmouth and to Sidmouth's wishes for the future of the building."Like most new charities, Kennaway House will take the form of a charitable company, technically Kennaway House Ltd, but will operate as a registered charity.

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