Old Deanery under offer, as local group promotes own bid

July 30 2020
Old Deanery under offer, as local group promotes own bid

THE Old Deanery, which Wells Voice revealed last month had put been put back on the market, is under offer.

The Diocese of Bath and Wells is selling the historic property on Cathedral Green after relocating its offices to Flourish House at Cathedral Avenue.

An offer from a private buyer had previously been accepted but that fell through and The Old Deanery – originally marketed with a guide price of £2.5 million – was temporarily withdrawn from sale. The diocese has confirmed that the Grade I listed building is now under offer again.

A group of people from across the local community remain keen on buying The Old Deanery. They have submitted their own bid, and have stepped up their campaign to persuade the diocese to sell the building to them.

The Save the Old Deanery group explain their vision on their website and in a leaflet being delivered to households in Wells. They say: “The Old Deanery opportunity is not just about buying a building, it is about finding a suitable building such as the Old Deanery, or another one, to develop ways for the community to come together to meet the needs of the people of Wells and its visitors. After the terrible social and economic impact of Covid, this hub would not be just an important new tourist destination, it would also give a huge boost to local businesses, create jobs for local people and provide facilities for vibrant local activities of all kinds. Let’s persuade the world that Wells is worth more than a half day stay.”

The group have set up a Community Interest Company and found a property development partner to work with. Their hope is that The Old Deanery will become an art gallery or museum of international standing, with further areas to showcase local work and events.

Appealing for public support, they urge people to email them on olddeanerywells@googlegroups.com “to express your view on this key building for all Wells residents. Wells could be an international centre for the arts and have a strong community hub. Its future is very much in your hands.”