250-year-old church to be transformed into 'apothecary for the magical' in South Yorkshire

A 250-year-old methodist church will be transformed into an ‘apothecary for the magical’ in South Yorkshire as part of a £1.5m redevelopment.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 10:40 am
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 9:56 am
Grimm & Co, Rotherham

Grimm & Co has revealed that it is set to move to new premises in 2020 - thanks to £499,999 of capital funding from the Arts Council’s Small Capital Grants programme.

The grant will allow Grimm & Co – which is currently based in a building on Doncaster Gate – to purchase the former church on Talbot Lane in Rotherham, which closed earlier this year due to dwindling congregation numbers. Plans to transform the building in a sensitive way, preserving the history and heritage of the building, have already been approved by the council.

The unique gift shop and children’s writing centre from Grimm & Co’s current home will be recreated within a new huge story destination for families, including an independent bookshop and café with magical and mortal menu options. Three new classrooms created will provide the opportunity to reach more schools and children.

Grimm & Co is relocating to bigger premises in Rotherham

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Grimm’s CEO, Deborah Bullivant, said: “We are booked months in advance for our storymaking sessions, and at the moment, we cannot meet that demand. This magnificent building will allow us to deliver workshops to three school classes at a time, with far more scope to reach children and young people across the county.

“These are very exciting times and we can’t wait to show everyone our plans for the building. They are stratospheric!”

Grimm & Co’s current story destination is fronted by Yorkshire’s Apothecary to the Magical, selling everything from bottles of Condensed Enthusiasm, to tins of Disappointment. Every purchase supports the children’s writing charity; hidden behind a secret door, children’s imaginations are unleashed and confidences built through creative writing programmes where they aim to change lives, one story at a time.

Leader of Rotherham Council, Coun Chris Read, said: “Grimm & Co nurture the imaginations of children in the heart of Rotherham, helping to grow the hearts and minds of our young people. This investment will make a massive difference to a much-loved and well renowned Rotherham institution.”

Sarah Christie talks to Amber Finnie and Lauren Eadon about their ideas at Grimm & Co in Rotherham