Opened in 2014, Sunflower is the realisation of an 18-month refurbishment of a disused former chapel on Foord Road at the foot of Darby Steps alongside Folkestone’s railway viaduct. It provides a well-appointed, medium-sized community venue for the whole town.
The venture is an offspring of The Bradstone Association, a residents’ group for the immediate neighbourhood. Sunflower House is a registered charity with surplus funds re-invested in the fabric and maintenance of the building. The town-wide Folkestone Town Sprucer is also run by the charity from Sunflower House.
Sunflower House is open seven-days-a-week for the people of Folkestone. A raft of courses, events and projects are using the building. To enquire about rates and availability go to Bookings.
45 Foord Road
Sunflower House is an independent scheme run for the benefit of all. As a charitable project, the aim is to provide an affordable and well-appointed community venue for the town of Folkestone. These are the trustees:
Sunflower House is leased from the Harbour Community Church for ten years. It was converted from a disused chapel at a cost of some £100,000. Funders include the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, the Big Lottery, Shepway District Council, the Community Development Foundation and Folkestone Town Council. Further investment in 2017 is providing a ramp for easier disabled access and the refurbishment of a beautiful parquet floor.
Architect John Verkaik contributed his services free of charge. Kitchen fittings were donated by Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery, Folkestone. Clerk-of-works throughout the refurbishment of Sunflower House was Peter Phillips, Folkestone’s Town Sprucer. He also assisted artist Phillippa Goddard during the 30 days of painting of the signature sunflower mural that adorns the front of the building.
Institutions that have funded Sunflower House:
Lloyds Bank Community Fund
Roger De Haan Charitable Trust
The Big Lottery
Community Development Foundation
Folkestone Town Council
Shepway District Council
Councillors contributing ward grants:
Cllr Ann Berry Cllr Brian Copping
Cllr Mary Lawes Cllr Paul Marsh
Cllr Frank MacKenna Cllr Martin Salmon
Cllr Rodica Wheeler
Benchmarx Kitchens, Folkestone
Professional donated services:
John Verkaik Architects, architecture Max Vizzini, finance direction