Cheltenham Civic Society has now completed its purchase of a new headquarters, 26 Cambray Place. The property will give the society a presence in Cheltenham town centre, making it more accessible for meetings and events.
Built between 1810 and 1820, the Regency villa is a Grade II listed property that has been used as offices for many years, although it has been vacant for nearly five years.
It suffered a severe fire in October 1926, when it lost its second floor – which was never rebuilt. While it has kept its external Regency features, the interior has largely been gutted to make it more suitable for office use over the years.
“The society has been planning to sell 13 Lyppiatt Terrace and seek a new town centre HQ for some years, and I am delighted that we have now achieved that aim. 26 Cambray Place fulfils nearly all of our criteria and will provide a much better base for us to engage with the community,” said Andrew Booton, Chair of Cheltenham Civic Society.
“We plan to refurbish the building to a high standard, including the repair and restoration of its surviving Regency features. In fact, one of our ambitions from the outset was to save a heritage building from dilapidation and, through our investment, help to revitalise its vicinity.
“Once finished – probably later next year – we will have space for meetings, presentations and events that we will also be able to hire out to other groups. In addition, we will have office and archive space, plus some residential accommodation that will be rented out to provide the society with income to help fund our activities.”
The society will take immediate steps to protect the building from further decay and it aims to appoint architects and submit the necessary planning and listed building applications during the summer – with building work potentially starting this autumn.