Dundonald Church development
Dundonald Church, originally a church plant from Emmanuel Church in Wimbledon, has been growing steadily for years. But they were facing a problem - they were running out of space. Not only that, but they had also been instrumental in pioneering a new church planting network, the Co-Mission Churches Trust, which now had 19 churches and 6 new associated church plants. The headquarters of the Co-Missions Churches Trust were also based at Dundonald, and they needed more office space.
The church explored various options, including buying a new site or building, but eventually decided to pursue a redevelopment on their existing site. The initial plan was to build a standalone, purpose-designed church on the site, but with budget estimates coming in at between £6.5 and £7 million, the project team decided to include 15 flats over the top of the church. Once sold, these flats would provide significant cross-subsidy of around £1.5-2 million to reduce the capital costs of the church itself.
After securing planning consent for the new church and flats in 2018, Dundonald embarked on the next stage of seeking suitable developer partners to take the project on. But after approaching several commercial developers and finding none of them could make the project viable due to high profit margins required, Dundonald was then introduced to Green Pastures, a development partner who had successfully delivered housing and church projects before.
Over a period of 2-3 months, Green Pastures reviewed the church's ambition and vision for the new church and came up with a viable solution to take on the whole development, invest the balance of the development finance required, and deliver the whole project. This included going back to planning for three additional residential units. Dundonald Church was able to raise a significant proportion of the development costs through a fundraising drive, sale of another property, and bank finance, while Green Pastures invested the balance of around £6 million. Green Pastures commenced work on the project in January 2019.
Despite facing several storms during construction, including the Covid pandemic and a local heavy storm that delayed project completion and handover by another 6 months, Green Pastures took the entire development risk for the project. They engaged all the consultants and contractors, marketed and sold all the apartments, and dealt with all planning and other legal matters. The agreement with the church included a 50/50 share of the remaining development contingency, which enabled the church to incorporate several important changes and improvements as the project progressed.
Dundonald Church took occupation in Febuary 2022, and now has a brand-new, purpose-built church significantly cross-subsidized by the sale of 18 flats, and Green Pastures secured an agreed return on their investment, which has been recycled to support their core activity of housing people who are homeless right across the country. For Dundonald, being able to co-partner with Green Pastures and see the investment returns go back to housing homeless people was the icing on the cake! Imagine what your church could achieve with the right partners and vision.
“Working with Green Pastures as our development partner has made a real difference on our church development. Not only are they technically sound, but more importantly they have shown a real understanding of Christian ministry and have been unbelievably supportive during our vision for a local contemporary Church."
John Marland, Governing Elder, Dundonald Church
Total Area: (GIA) 2300m2
Main spaces: 650 seater auditorium, 3 large halls, Large entrance foyer/cafe, Staff offices and meeting rooms
Number of Flats: 18 ( 1 and 2 bed flats)
Total Project cost: £11.9M
Architect: Brimlow McSweeney
Structural Engineer: Meinhardt
Project Manager: TPS
Cost Consultant: CSA
Acoustic Consultant: Cahill Design Consultants
Planning Consultant: Indigo ( now WSP)
Main Contractor: Curo Construction Ltd
AV specialist: Triplex