Between 2001 and 2017 Stroud Town Council looked after Stroud Cemetery under a management agreement with Stroud District Council. As part of the agreement we were allowed to occupy the Chapel as our Green Spaces team’s depot.
In April 2017 ownership of the cemetery was transferred to the Town Council, along with Bank Gardens and Sims Clock. The transfer did not include the Chapel or the tarmac around it, but Stroud District Council did grant vehicle access to the Town Council across the land for maintenance of the cemetery.
The District Council gave the Town Council the opportunity to purchase the Victorian building at market value.
Town councillors explored possible uses for the chapel and commissioned a feasibility study looking at the cost of purchasing the building, carrying out essential repairs and converting it for community use. More information about the feasibility study can be found here.
Following public consultation, the Town Council decided not to purchase the chapel as the costs were too high. “The building was valued at almost £175,000, but needed nearly £220,000 of essential roof and stonework repairs just to secure the building condition, even before you add in the cost of converting it for community use,” said Town Mayor Kevin Cranston. “The Town Council has limited resources and councillors decided that it would be more cost effective to relocate to a new depot.”
“We firmly believe that the chapel is an important part of the town’s heritage, but at the time of our consultations, there was limited appetite from local residents for converting the chapel for community use.” We will be supporting Stroud District Council with a public meeting at 7.30pm at the Old Town Hall on Tuesday 14th May 2019 to hear the community’s concerns about the implications of the proposed sale.