We’ve all done it, at some point: You walk past a shabby, ruined building, with boarded up windows and peeling paint, and you think: 'That could be really beautiful if we could only fix it up'.
It’s a very human kind of fantasy. To take something shabby, and broken, and neglected, and make it beautiful, and loved once again. Whether it's your local crumbling church, a dusty old cinema, or a pub that's seen better days, we've all thought about buying it up, turning it around, and making it a focal point for a community who could come to love it.
For most of us though, these are just passing fantasies, idle daydreams on a daily walk. But some people turn that dream into reality…
Abbe is a musician and music teacher, in Exeter. Just behind her house is a small but very beautiful Georgian park, with pristine lawns, a rose garden, and a 100-year old wisteria archway. It's also got a Gatehouse; a beautiful old building at the entrance to the park. But it's covered in graffiti, with boarded up windows and rusting railings. The local kids smash the roof-tiles for fun, and mould creeps up the walls. It's been out of use for decades, but Abbe sees so much potential in it, and dreams of what it COULD be: a sweet little community cafe, and a meeting-hub for local groups.
Abbe is a busy woman; juggling her career, her band, and now a new baby. Can she take on the mammoth task of restoring the Gatehouse too?
Produced and presented in Bristol by Emily Knight