‘(Re)birth of Sudbury Arts Centre’ Wins Conservation Project Award 2024

22 May, 2024

Have you heard the news?  - Sudbury Arts Centre has won 'Restoration or Conservation Project of the Year' at the Museums + Heritage Awards and Heritage Awards for 'Bees, Bodies, Bodley - The (Re) Birth of Sudbury Arts Centre.

Congratulations to all parties involved in this great project...amazing teamwork and charity support to save this iconic Suffolk landmark for the community and future generations.

As Principal Contractor, USL was tasked with the extensive regeneration, re-ordering, and conservation of the former St Peter's Church, now known as Sudbury Arts Centre.

The renewal project was not only to conserve and regenerate the building but also to carry out vital repairs to the historic fabric prior to transforming the interior spaces through a range of physical improvements, ensuring a new dynamic historical interpretation and extending the audience reach for a sustainable future through a range of physical improvements.

The award acknowledges high standards of conservation, partnership working between the Churches Conservation Trust and The Bridge Project, and recognises the body of work undertaken over the past four years, alongside the subsequent community activities and events taking place since the site launched late last year.

On behalf of the judges, Bernard Donoghue OBE said

"All of us judges were hugely impressed with this Churches Conservation Trust project. To professionally, meticulously conserve and repurpose this redundant grade I listed church to become a vibrant, inclusive, buzzy Arts Centre at the heart of Sudbury is an astonishing achievement. We particularly loved the fact that this project was more than conserving bricks and mortar, it was about introducing heart, warmth, welcome and love into the community. This is a showcase for conservation with love and care."

Michael Whelton, USL Director, commented 

"We are delighted and enormously proud that the judges have recognised the quality of work, conservation and regeneration by all parties involved in this thrilling transformation.  We hope that this ‘Rebirth’ project and national recognition will inspire others to dream and reimagine the future of historic churches and buildings.  We are hugely grateful to the Churches Conservation Trust, funders, supporters, partners and local community for making this project successful." 

Since opening the doors at the end of October last year, Sudbury Arts Centre now has welcomed over 29,000 visitors to visit the new cafe, participate in family activities, mental health support groups, careers fairs, live music gigs and larger-scale events.

To find out what’s on visit.


Once again - congratulations to everyone involved - so many wonderful individuals, teams and organisations to mention.

Discover Sudbury Arts Centre Case Study: Click Here