Plight of Tithe Barn in Landbeach continues
The hunt for financial support to save the historic Tithe Barn in the village of Landbeach continues with the building granted a temporary reprieve until September – and local charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future is continuing to champion the cause.
Back in January, the Landbeach Society, supported by Cambridge Past, Present & Future, held an open day at the barn. The aim was to raise awareness of the structure, and the fact it could be lost to the local community forever unless a new use or guardian for it was found.
Dating back to the early 16th century, the Tithe Barn is currently owned by South Cambridgeshire District Council and leased to the Landbeach Society. At the end of 2012, SCDC announced plans to contract its responsibilities for the building as part of cost cutting measures.
The Landbeach Society was originally given until the end of March to try to find a sustainable way forward. However, with no support forthcoming during the initial timeframe given, SCDC has granted local people another six months to try to come up with a solution. The extension was agreed at the council’s March planning meeting, where attendees acknowledged that the property is special and justifies further effort to protect it.
The Tithe Barn is one of the best examples of its kind in the country but the building is not without its problems. It has been estimated that an investment in excess of £100,000 is needed to restore the property to its former glory. Reluctantly, faced with this cost, the Landbeach Society has decided that it can no longer look after the barn on behalf of SCDC.
In a fresh attempt to invigorate interest in saving the Tithe Barn, CambridgePPF is now planning to hold a special workshop in June – bringing experts and potential partners, managers, volunteers and donors together to discuss ideas and opportunities to safeguard its future. One idea is to set up a trust to look after the building – an option that is strongly supported by local Cllr James Hockney, who has convened and Chaired a multi agency meeting already.
Councillor James Hockney said “The Tithe Barn is an important part of our history and the last remaining one in Cambridgeshire. To secure the long term future of the building we must start a Trust – to this end I will be Chairing a meeting about this in the near future. If anyone is interested in becoming a trustee please contact Carolin or myself”.
Carolin Gohler, CEO of CambridgePPF, said: “CambridgePPF looks after a number of historic properties but at this time is not in a position to take on any more heritage buildings – unless they come with sufficient funding streams in place. We are however keen to help try and find another group or individual to look after this special barn. With growth planned in and around Landbeach and Waterbeach, we believe there should be scope to retain the barn for community usage and we hope a workshop in early summer will bring together the right people to explore safeguarding its future.”
Further details of the workshop will be released nearer the time. In the meantime, anybody interested in supporting the future of the Tithe Barn or with ideas that could prove helpful should contact: Carolin Göhler at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on: 01223 – 243830 x 203 (daytime) or 07902 915241 (evenings / weekends).