Holy Trinity Church

The Canny Space Project

The Holy Trinity Church was opened in 1719 as the church for the newly created Parish of Sunderland and served the local community until dwindling numbers forced its closure in 1988. It has since been in the ownership of the Churches Conservation Trust, who have preserved this Grade 1 listed building for the local community.

The Churches Conservation Trust
Architect/client representative
Mosedale Gillatt Architects
Contract value

In 2019 funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, All Churches Trust and the Churches Conservation Trust created the £4.3 million “The Canny Space” project.  Historic Property Restoration Limited were selected as the preferred contractor to carry out this ambitious project to conserve and regenerate this hugely significant building.

This restoration project will incorporate significant repair works together with selective new internal building works, including repairs to the existing brickwork and stonework on the façade and within the building; repairs to the plasterwork within the church; redecoration of the interior of the church; repairs to the existing slate roof; replacement of existing mechanical and electrical services; and fabrication and installation of contemporary elements within the building.

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The Dean and Chapter and its Fabric Advisory Committee is thrilled with the quality of work produced by HPR Ltd. The skills exhibited in stone masonry are particularly fine. Managers and staff have developed good relations with the client team – we couldn’t have asked for better attitude or commitment.

Lindy Gilliland Testimonial -
Lindy Gilliland - Newcastle Cathedral Project Manager

"From my personal perspective, this was one of the best projects I have been involved with over the last 35 years as a Chartered Building Surveyor, RIS Accredited in Building Conservation. My client role on this was a complete pleasure, because you and your team were first class, complementing the excellent professional design team. Well done!"

Richard Dunn -
PCC Project Co-ordinator, for St John the Baptist Church, Wilberfoss

"May I take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for your professional and unfailingly helpful conduct during this project. We particularly appreciate the efforts made to overcome the deficiencies and problems arising from the previous contractor."

Andrew Bodenham -
Blackett Ord Conservation

"HPR recognise, and allow for, the necessary archaeological recording to take place during consolidation work and the disruptions that this may cause to their planned programme of work comes as no surprise to them. This awareness means that their workforce is able to be pro-active in informing the archaeologist of any possible instances when recording may be necessary."

Mick Krupa -
NPHT Archaeologist at Nenthead Smeltmill

"Historic Property Restoration carried out the first phase of the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Town Hall. The company were extremely professional in their approach throughout the entire process as befits a company with extensive experience in the conservation and restoration sector."

David Lodge -
Greater Morpeth Development Trust

"Historic Property Restoration deliver good quality work to programme and budget on a regular basis. They are reliable and value for money."

Ian Merritt -
English Heritage Conservation and Maintenance Manager
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Tyler AOTY

The project will also create two Apprenticeship opportunities for two young individuals within the local community.  They will work alongside the team of Craftsmen gaining experience in bricklaying, joinery and general maintenance. Giving people in an area of economic disadvantage life-changing skills through craft training programme funded by the All Churches Trust.

This regeneration project will see the church transformed into ‘The Canny Space’; a community venue for culture, heritage and learning, where the stories of Old Sunderland are brought to life through interpretation, events and performances. 

To hear more about or work at Holy Trinity Church, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnzW3CikQcE