Church calls for views on revamp plan

Leyland United Reformed Church interior.
Leyland United Reformed Church interior.

A remodelling of a Leyland Church has been proposed to encourage more community use.

The Grade II listed United Reformed Church on Hough Lane is hoping to revamp its existing garden as well as introducing a coffee bar.

And it is inviting local people to give their opinions on the plans, which could also see the pitched pine pews replaced with chairs to create a more flexible space.

Rev David Coaker said the proposals were still flexible and much depended on the feedback given by the community.

He said: “The building is already heavily used but we want to encourage more people to use the space.

“South Ribble wants to regenerate Hough Lane and we are the main community space in that part of town.”

He said that the current proposals included a range of options, not all of which would necessarily go ahead.

These included softening the boundary between the church and the main street, widening the gates to allow access for vehicles and opening up the entrance area to accommodate a coffee bar and disabled toilet.

Depending on the feedback, a wooden partition inside the church and the existing doors could be replaced with glass alternatives, allowing people to see directly into the building, which dates from 1877.

Rev Coaker said: “At this stage it’s difficult to say how much it would cost but it could be anything from £50,000 to £150,000.

“It’s clear that the congregation has an emotional attachment to the pews, but we need to make a decision with the head not the heart.”

The plans can be seen on Friday, Saturday and next Tuesday (March 6) from 10am-2pm and 5pm-7pm. An open discussion will be held in the church at 7pm next Tuesday.