Historic church in Leicester is put up for sale
An historic church in Leicester has been put up for sale.
Grade II-listed St Saviours, in Highfields, Leicester, could be turned into flats, offices or a hotel after being put on the market this week.
The Victorian gothic church, in St Saviours Road, shut in 2005 and has been hit by vandals.
Leicester estate agent Andrew Granger & Co, which is managing the sale, said the building could fetch up to £750,000.
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St Saviours, which could seat a congregation of 1,000 people, is being sold as part of a package with a former neighbourhood centre next door, which used to be a church school.
Rupert Harrison, managing partner at Andrew Granger & Co, said: "This is a really special property the like of which is rarely seen on the market.
"It is important to secure a sustainable new use for such a beautiful and historic building and so we have spent some considerable time working with Leicester City Council and English Heritage to bring the property to market.
"We feel that it represents a great opportunity for a developer or individual with real vision.
"Possible uses could include conversion to community use, business use such as a hotel or offices as well as residential, in keeping with the general regeneration that Leicester has seen over the past few years."
The church was built in about 1875 and designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the architect responsible for the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras station and The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, commissioned by Queen Victoria.
The building is being sold on the instructions of the Church Commissioners for England and Leicester Diocesan Board of Finance.
Andrew Roberts, acting secretary for the diocese, said: "St Saviours is an important part of the city's heritage.
"The neighbourhood centre also had an important role in the community prior to its disuse so we are eager to see these buildings restored to their former glory, albeit potentially with a different purpose."
Leicester Civic Society chairman Stuart Bailey said: "As with any listed building, the worry is that inappropriate use of the building could jeopardise its listed status.
"If too much gets changed then it can lose that status.
"What we would want is to find someone who can give it that kiss of life and bring it back to use, but in an appropriate way." Locals said they hoped the buildings would be open to the community.
Emmanuel Maphosa, 48, said: "Whatever it becomes, it is important to remember it was once a place of worship.
"It would be nice if it could be put to community use – maybe a play centre for the children, or a place for young people."