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Pillory Barn
Zoe Springett
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Discovery Park
Kimberly Anderson
Project Manager

St. Mary’s Arts Centre
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Posted on 22.12.2014

When a historic community events space in Sandwich had to close its doors following a fire last week, the building’s trustees turned to Discovery Park for help.

Firefighters were called to St Mary’s Arts Centre in Sandwich when a small fire broke out in the 14th century building’s kitchen. While the fire damage was limited, fine specks of soot meant a major clean up would be needed.

With funds for running the charity arts centre already limited, trustees of the Sandwich St Mary’s Community Trust contacted staff at Discovery Park to see if they would be able to help with the cost of repairs. The response was positive and less than a week after the fire took place, the space has been professionally cleaned and is ready to reopen to the public.

Julian Stowell, chairman of the Sandwich St Mary’s Community Trust said, “We are absolutely delighted that Discovery Park were able to come to our aid. We are extremely grateful for their contribution. Their generosity and rapid decision-making enabled us to get back up and running and the church looks even better than before the fire!

“This has been a wonderful example of Discovery Park reaching out to the local community and is just the beginning of the collaboration between us. Funding the clean-up ourselves would have made a huge dent in our very limited resources. We have ambitious plans to further develop St Mary’s as a resource for the community and are looking forward to an exciting year ahead.”

Kimberley Anderson, project manager at Discovery Park, commented, “We are proud to have been able to react to this community emergency. When we got the call, we absolutely felt it was the right decision to help.

“Supporting the heritage of the area is a really vital part of our work. St Mary’s Arts Centre is such a historic building; it’s important to Sandwich and the people of the town as well as being a destination for many visitors and that means it is important to us. We’re hoping to develop a more long-term relationship and are going to be meeting in the New Year to see what more we can do to help.”

Find out more about the centre at

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