Holy Trinity Church was built by Gilbert Scott in 1842, made redundant in 1974, due to falling congregations, and was offered to the Shaftesbury Scout Group.
In 1979, a small Scout-based group, the Trinity Executive was formed, lead by Dick Ripper, to convert the church to a multi-use Trinity Centre – for the Scouts, as an old people’s day care centre, and for business and other community uses.
Fund-raising was undertaken guided by a fund-raiser, Brian Picking, who was loaned by Help The Aged. Several hundred local people donated, and fund-raising events were held.
A Charitable Trust was formed, chaired by Ford Geddes, which took over in November 1980. This became legally responsible for the Trinity Centre. The Executive and the Trust were all-volunteer groups.
The building work was contracted to Williams Brothers, a local company, and supervised by Leo Williams. Trinity Centre was opened in May 1982.
The cost of the project was around £130,000, half contributed by local donors, and half by pre-payments for the facilities created. No support was sought or offered by central government or lottery etc.
The Trust has always operated on minimum costs with only one paid staff, and income [derived from use of the facilities created] exceeds expenditure.
Profitable operation has allowed the trust to fund many local good causes, and to accumulate financial reserves.
The Scouts continue to benefit from use of the building, on very favourable terms.
By 2012, the Trust under the leadership of Jo Churchill, the current chairman, decided that sufficient funds had been accumulated to transform the 26-meter high tower. This now offers a viewing platform for public use that is accessed via 126 steps up a narrow spiral stone staircase, and commands an all-round view of the area.