Monday, December 16, 2013

Half a million pounds granted for Cathedral improvements

Thirteen cathedrals across the UK have been awarded grants totalling almost £500,000 towards the cost of repairs and enhancements to their buildings.

The Wolfson Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England are behind a £350,000 grant, under the umbrella of the Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund.

Over the past three years, the fund has awarded almost £2.5 million for essential work such as re-roofing and stonework repairs.

The cathedrals receiving funds this year are: Birmingham, Coventry, Exeter, Liverpool, Norwich, Peterborough, Salisbury, Southwark, St Albans and York Minster.

Chief Executive of The Wolfson Foundation, Paul Ramsbottom, said: "These are magnificent buildings of great significance that inspire our generation as they have done many preceding generations. We are very pleased to be working, in partnership with others, to help conserve them."
Georgina Nayler, Director of The Pilgrim Trust, has praised the fund for enabling organisations "to take a strategic approach to supporting some of our most iconic and magnificent buildings".

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, added that the fund is "the only grant source targeted at critical repairs to England's historic cathedrals".

"We are pleased to have been able to help a number of cathedrals and also to support innovative solutions to problems posed by 20th century construction and changing weather patterns," he noted.

In addition to this, the Church of England's Cathedral Amenities Fund, which gives money for improvements to the settings of ancient cathedrals, is also awarding a further £149,500.

This money will go towards the conservation of the ruins of the Infirmary Chapel at Canterbury Cathedral, repairing the Edgar Tower Gate at Worcester Cathedral, and improving the west end surroundings of Bristol Cathedral.

These grants will help with urgent requirements for repair and conservation work, but cathedrals across the UK are in need of much more money simply to pay for their routine upkeep and maintenance.

As they do not receive any direct government funding, an estimated £10 million is currently needed to protect and preserve the 42 iconic Anglican buildings across England.

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