Rockstar president Leslie Benzies buys St Stephen’s

Jun 27 2014 | By More

“Philanthropic gesture” preserves community venue.

Leslie Benzies, president of Rockstar North the company behind the internationally successful computer game Grand Theft Auto, has been confirmed as the purchaser of the St Stephen’s Centre in Stockbridge.

St Stephens

St Stephens

A statement from Benzies’ agent, Philip Johnston, says that he has agreed to buy the property in an entirely philanthropic gesture that will preserve its long-term use as a local community venue.

The statement says: “Mr Benzies has lived in the area for over ten years and recognised the building’s importance to the community.

“This is an entirely philanthropic purchase, which will preserve the building for years to come and we are delighted to have concluded a deal that will ensure the long-term viability of the property as a community centre that benefits all.

“A charitable trust has been created by Mr Benzies to manage the community centre and its Board of Trustees will include representatives of the local community.

“Stockbridge is a busy residential area with a relatively small number of community venues. The preservation of St Stephen’s Church as a community centre meets a pressing need as well as protecting an important historical building, which is significant as it was designed by architect William Henry Playfair and has been hailed as one of the most important Georgian buildings in the area.

“We are delighted that we can help bring the Church back to its former glory securing its future whilst providing a renovated local and performing arts centre that will benefit the wider community.”

“My client looks forward to completing the sale imminently to secure the plans for the Church’s ongoing use. We will engage with the community as the plans progress and look forward to welcoming local residents and groups back to the Centre in the very near future.”

St Stephen’s is a grade A listed building. It was designed by William Playfair and completed in 1828 as the St. Stephen’s Parish Church. The interior was reconfigured in 1956 and it became the St. Stephen’s Centre in 1992.

Further details of the background to the sale are available here: tag “St Stephen’s Centre”



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