Church of Scientology ‘committed’ to Gateshead move

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The Church of Scientology says it remains committed to turning a derelict nursing home in Gateshead into its North East base, more than 15 years after it acquired the property.

The church bought the former Windmill Hills home in 2007 for £1.5m, but the building remains boarded up.

It plans to move to Gateshead from its existing site in Sunderland once work is complete.

The church said “extreme care” was being taken over the scheme.

The Grade II-listed building, built in the late-19th Century, was originally a Victorian day school but has become a target for vandals after standing empty for several years.

The church said it had completed a “programme of urgent works to prevent further deterioration of the historic fabric of the building” including structural reinforcement, asbestos removal and the replacement of some rafters.

However, it has not provided a timescale for completion of the project.

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