Old Deanery being put up for sale again

July 02 2020
Old Deanery being put up for sale again

THE Old Deanery, the former office accommodation for staff of the Diocese of Bath and Wells, is to be put back on the market.

This historic property on Cathedral Green was marketed last year but despite substantial interest, said the Diocese, and partly due to the impact of Covid-19 on the property market, it was temporarily withdrawn from sale.

A diocesan spokesperson said: “Trustees of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Board of Finance have decided to remarket The Old Deanery, following advice that this is the most likely way of ensuring that they obtain the most appropriate value for the property.”

Two weeks ago a group of people from across the local community submitted a bid to buy The Old Deanery and its historic Turner Herb Garden from the Diocese. Their vision is for the site to become a community hub and major exhibition space, with a locally-owned restaurant and cafe, helping to boost the local economy.

One of the community project’s directors, Paddy O’Hagan, said: “We hoped that the Diocese would place significant value on the elements of a nationally-important art gallery, community spaces and a reopening of the historic garden that were at the heart of our shared bid. These elements are of even greater importance in these difficult times when the visitor economy of Wells and beyond requires support from us all.”

Some diocesan staff have now moved into Flourish House at Cathedral Avenue, Wells, which offers purpose-built office accommodation more readily able to serve both staff and parishes in the diocese.

It is hoped that, as lockdown continues to ease, more staff will be able to work from Flourish House, and it will also be available for churches and church groups to use.