Gardner Memorial Church

Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God

previous updates on repair and renewal


Dear Friends,

This morning (17th May 2018) I received a letter from the Heritage Lottery Fund advising that our second round application for funding to undertake major repair and renewal work has been successful.

Further to our earlier £30,400 development grant, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Historic Environment Scotland have jointly agreed to award us an additional £219,600 to undertake necessary work to our church building. This amounts to some 72% of the anticipated cost of the project.

During the course of this work we will be applying for recovery of the VAT element of all qualifying expenditure under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme accounting for a further 15% of our anticipated costs.

We plan to fund the remaining £39,000 from the sale of centrally held fabric funds invested on our behalf by the General Trustees and locally held investments and fund raising.

Major works of this nature will inevitably mean some disruption and short term changes to the way we normally use our buildings over the course of the next six months or so, details of which will be advised in due course.

Peter George


Why Us?

As many of you will know from earlier editions, we have successfully

applied for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £250,000 for Repair

and Conservation work at the Gardner.

This is a two-stage process, the first stage - covering specialist surveys

of the building, the preparation of heritage activity plans and the issue

and receipt of tender documents for the works is now complete and

we have recently submitted our second round application.  Our current

estimate of the cost of the works will be around £295,000.  Approval of this second round

application will give us access to a further £220,000 so that we can start on the actual building

repair and conservation work. This money together with approximately £45,000 from the

Government’s Listed Places of Worship Scheme and about £30,000 from elsewhere should

enable us to complete the work by the end of this year.


So “How does the Gardner qualify for a Heritage Lottery Grant in the first place?”

Well, the Gardner is an “A” Listed building built between 1896 and 1900 and designed by the

renowned Scottish Architect Sir John James Burnet in the style of the American Arts and

Crafts movement. It was designated ‘Building of the Year’ by the Royal Incorporation of

Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and has a large number of truly unique features such as its

exposed timber roof structure, its wealth of different carvings and its Tynecastle Tapestry doors.

One of nine churches built by Burnet, the Gardner has been described as “the best detailed and

most original of the series” by architectural historian and leading expert Professor David Walker


During the course of the restoration work we will be holding a number events to highlight as

many of the Gardner’s unique features and history as possible.


Renewal Project Update
Our Renewal Project has now been divided into three separate Phases’
Phase I – Repair and Renovation This is the part of the project financed jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland under their Grants for Places of Worship programme. Our Architects (James F Stephen Architects), Quantity Surveyors (John Duguid Partnership) and other specialists completed their definition of the scope in December last year and issued Tender documents to potential contractors on 10th January. The Tender package was also sent the Heritage Lottery Fund for their review and comment at the same time. Contractor’s tenders are expected to be returned by 29th January and after a brief period of clarification and review we will finalise our 2nd round application and submit it to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Our application will include both capital and activity costs along with our proposed activity plan. We expect HLF to take 6 – 8 weeks to approve our application allowing our selected contractor to start work on site at the beginning of May.

Phase II – Modernisation & Conversion We hope that the Big Lottery Fund together along with partnership or match funding from others trusts and funders will provide the finance for this part of the project. This is the part of the project where we will see the greatest changes to the building with the transfer of ownership to the Gardner Community Association, the removal of pews, the provision of a new heating system, office & toilets and the creation of the community café and bakery. Unfortunately, we have had to reduce to scope of this phase in line with the potential funding available, but with the help of our Architects and Quantity Surveyors we believe that we have achieved this without significantly jeopardizing our ambitious plans. We have recently sent our draft Capital Plan to the Big Lottery Team for their review and comment and are in the course of finalising our Strategic Plan. Both of these documents will form the basis of our 2nd round BLF application, which we hope to submit in
Phase III – Garden Development The third phase of the project is more inspirational and will only be sanctioned when we have completed Phase II and have a clearer idea of what funds still remain and how we might be able to raise any more required. The scope of this phase includes those elements of the project that we would dearly like to include, but are not absolutely essential to its success. These include the covered shelter, café terrace and parking spaces in the garden area.


 The last 12 months has seen significant progress with our Repair and Renewal Projects.


Building Repairs – Heritage Lottery Fund – Grants for Places of Worship

Following a comprehensive fabric inspection of the church buildings in June last year we submitted a funding     application for repair work to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in August 2016. Unfortunately we were advised in   December that this application had not been successful but were encouraged by HLF to submit a new application with more detail as soon as we were able to do so.

This second application was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Grants for Places of Worship (HLF-GPOW) programme in February this year and we were awarded a development grant of £30,400 on 19th June 2017. This funding has enabled us to commission Heritage Consultant Catherine Gilles of Ergadia Museums & Heritage and Conservation Architect Douglas Reid of James F. Stephen Architects to manage the project.

Along with a number of other specialists they will prepare a heritage activity plan, detailed scopes of work and tender documents enabling us to submit a 2nd round funding application for the actual repair work in February 2018. We then expect HLF to take about three months to consider and approve our application enabling work in the building to start around July 2018.


Community Hub Development – Big Lottery Fund – Community Assets

Following a meeting with funding advisors from the Big Lottery Fund on 13th October last year, our sister organisation, the Gardner Community Association (GCA), was given leave to apply to the Community Assets programme for development funding. This application was submitted in February for £38,580 and approved on 31st March 2017.

In the mean time the GCA submitted an application for charitable status as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) to the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR). This application was also approved and the GCA was granted SCIO Registration No: SC047375 on 5th May 2017.

Having set up a completely separate bank account the GCA received its development funding from the Big Lottery on 12th May and proceeded to appoint SKS Scotland CIC to undertake community consultation and prepare a strategic social plan and James F. Stephen Architects to further develop our concept designs and capital cost estimates. These key documents, along with several others, will be submitted along with our 2nd round funding application for a much larger sum in early January.

This will enable the GCA to take over responsibility for ownership of the building and provide and operate the following facilities:-

·       a community café where folk can meet and socialise,

·       a kitchen/bakery and training facility to provide work experience and develop skills,

·       a meeting room for discussion groups and one-to-one counselling,

·       a large indoor activity space with kitchen/pantry and storage suitable for user groups, exhibitions, seminars, receptions, film shows, carpet bowls, line dancing and other activities,

·       a large outdoor area with covered activity space suitable for open air play and barbeques etc.

·       a large multi-purpose sanctuary space suitable for religious services, concerts and seminars,

·       an office, staff and baby changing facilities, toilets and disabled access to all areas.


The Gardner Community Association plan to hold their first Annual General Meeting as a SCIO at the Gardner at 2 pm on Tuesday 12th December 2017. All members of the association, members of the public and interested parties are invited to attend to hear more about this fascinating ground breaking project.

Building Proposals

Please click the links below to see .pdf files of the latest proposals:

Bird's Eye view of the church building

View of front with disabled access

 Flexible seating area.

 Sanctuary facing forward

 Sanctuary facing rearward

 Example of covered space to be constructed in garden.

 Architectural plan view.

 Please take the time to fill out this Comments Sheet, and hand in to the church office.