The origin of the Trust was the result of the efforts of its three founders, David Shutt, David Ellis and David Fletcher and their ‘3D’ campaign to save the magnificent Birchcliffe Baptist Chapel, Hebden Bridge, from demolition. As is often the way – the only way to save it was to buy it!
This was achieved with assistance from the then Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust (Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust today) for conversion to a northern base for a wide variety of voluntary groups.
Restoration and conversion work also received generous assistance from the Rowntree Trust as did the foundation of Pennine Heritage Trust as managers and landlord of the newly launched Birchcliffe Centre.
Inserting a new floor at balcony level in the chapel created an expansive conference, exhibition and events venue. This was matched a year or two later by conversion of the adjacent Sunday School to a well-appointed hostel with accommodation for up to about three dozen residents.