THE team behind the community purchase of Otley Methodist Church and turn it into a community hub said it is making great progress towards its goal.

Otley 2030’s community development Lead, Andrew Howarth said: “Otley has some incredible community groups, doing amazing work across the town. We got involved in this project, because we want to create a home for these groups to come together and work together to help Otley thrive in the future.”

Despite being publicly quiet over the past few months, the Friends of the Wesley Otley Limited (FTWOL) has been making great strides in the background and acknowledges taking over a such large building is a complex and time-consuming endeavour.

The team has been working with expert advisors from the Co-op and locality to develop a business plan and funding streams, and with global consultants Arup on improving the sustainability of the building.

Stefanie Stead, architect and board member of FTWOL, said: “This is an extraordinary opportunity for Otley to reclaim its civic heart by repurposing the historic Methodist Church as an accessible, inclusive and sustainable hub for the whole community.”

The group has also been liaising with the current owners to ensure that the transition from a place of worship to a secular community building is done in a respectful way.

Current Methodist minister Reverend Cameron Stirk stressed the importance of this. He said: “The trustees of Otley Methodist Church are committed to their present building being used as a resource for the whole community for future generations. They have been working well with the FTWOL on a timescale for the purchase and hope that the whole community will get behind this community bid in order to save and benefit from this enormous community resource.”

All this work is being carried out by an ever-increasing team of dedicated volunteers including marketing and branding experts.

The team added that developing a unique brand that sets out a bold vision for the future of the building, whilst respecting its heritage is essential.

Another important matter is that the team is looking for a new name for the building to make it clear that this is a clean break from the Methodist Church. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

To take a 3D tour of the building created by Otley’s Apollo 3D, please visit