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Belsey Bridge Residential Centre set for closure 

The Belsey Bridge Residential Centre in South Norfolk is set to close its doors within weeks after a three-year strategic review into the future direction of the Christian Conference Trust which runs it. Keith Morris reports

The strategic review concluded that it is not financially sustainable for the Trust to continue to run its centre at Belsey Bridge which is located in a rural area on the Norfolk-Suffolk border.

CCT Sales & Marketing Director, Mark Rowe, told Network Norfolk: “This is a sad time for us. We put a lot of work into reopening Belsey after the lock downs. Unfortunately the demand for a centre of its size in rural East Anglia was not there. From November to March there were very few bookings in place. Our other larger venues closer to population centres have been turning groups away as they are so popular.
 
“Unlike our other two centres, Belsey was leased. The buildings are owned by the Community of All Hallows. We had early discussions with parties who may have been interested in taking over the centre but these have not progressed.”
 
With demand for larger conference centres outstripping current capacity, the Trust says it has plans to grow and is now actively looking for new properties in the South-East and Midlands with good road and rail access from major urban areas.

John Heasman, Chief Executive, said: “We are here to serve the church and need to ensure that our venues are of the right size, quality and location to benefit as many Christians as possible. The church landscape is changing in the UK, and we need to be where it is growing in large numbers. Our two largest conference centres, High Leigh and The Hayes are very well located but we are turning away bookings from over 50,000 Christians every year as these two venues are often at maximum capacity.

“As we focus on where the needs of the church are, we have taken the necessary but very difficult decision to close our smaller centre in East Anglia at the end of October. We understand the impact that Belsey’s closure will have on the groups who come year after year and the staff team that serve our guests so wonderfully. The decision to close was not taken lightly by the board of trustees and executive team who have reviewed all options open to us throughout the three-year review.”

Groups affected by the closure of Belsey Bridge will be offered alternative dates at High Leigh in Hertfordshire or The Hayes in Derbyshire, or given a full refund. Full information for groups affected by the closure can be found at cct.org.uk/belsey-bridge/closure.

Pictured above is Belsey Bridge Residential Centre.

 


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