A church devastated in the Birmingham tornado is to rise from the ashes as part of a £12 million redevelopment with the NHS.
Christ Church, in Sparkbrook, was ruined beyond repair when the twister struck in July 2005, forcing its Victorian spires and altars to be knocked down.
But health chiefs have done a deal with the Diocese of Birmingham to see a new health and community centre built on the site of the ruins and a new church hall opposite.
Building work starts on the new three-storey Sparkbrook Primary Care and Community Centre at the junction of Grantham Road and Dolobran Road this month.
A church hall will follow with worship areas, community rooms and a cafe, in the agreement with bosses at Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust(PCT) and Birmingham City Council.
Revd Canon Steve Simcox, the Church of England Minister in the Diocese of Birmingham, said: “This project has always been exciting, even when it was just a dream and drawings on paper. This new development brings the health and care of this community to the forefront.
“I hope that the presence of a new church building alongside a health and community facility means we can continue to work together for the people in our area.”
The Birmingham tornado tore a path of destruction through Moseley, Small Heath and Sparkbrook in just four minutes on July 28, 2005.
Members of the Victorian Society building conservation group tried to save the 1867 building, but it was condemned by church officials on health and safety grounds. The new health complex is due to open by the end of next year.
It will include dentists, baby clinics, physiotherapy, three GP practices plus council community rooms.
There will also be offices for start up social enterprises and businesses and a community library.
Ranjit Sondhi, PCT chairman, said: “By offering a wide range of health, council and community services in one area close to patients’ homes, we can better ensure the health needs of local residents are met, as well as supporting their general wellbeing.”