The Association of English Cathedrals welcomes the announcement by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid of £8.3 million in grants for 31 English cathedrals, of which £6.8 million has been awarded to Anglican cathedrals. The money has come from a government-sponsored fund, set up to support vital repairs to some of England’s most important historic buildings.
Mr Javid announced that the grants will provide 25 Church of England and six Catholic cathedrals with grants worth between £15,000 and £600,000 for repairs ranging from roofs, stonework and structural work through to detailed work on intricate stained glass windows.
The money was made available as part of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund. This is the second round of grants from the £20 million Fund, which was announced in the Chancellor’s March budget. The third round, with £7 million to award, will close on 21 January 2015 and all projects awarded money will be complete by March 2016.
The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd Dr John Inge, lead bishop for Cathedrals and Church Buildings said:
“Cathedrals are a success story, not just for the Church but for the cities where they are located and the millions of people who enjoy their architectural splendour, magnificent music and open welcome each year. It is entirely appropriate that the government has recognised that in supporting cathedrals, they are also supporting local communities across England. The outcome of these grants will have echoes far beyond mere building works. It is an investment in beautiful places which in turn support and encourage the people amongst whom they minister, making a significant contribution to human flourishing in each of our cathedral cities and beyond.”
Chancellor George Osborne said:
“Many Britons will have visited a cathedral this summer to attend a remembrance service marking the Great War and this £8 million grant, part of £20 million I announced at the last Budget, will ensure that these beautiful and historic buildings remain much-loved places of worship and remembrance for another century to come. Our great cathedrals are the envy of the world, bringing many tourists to the cities of UK, so this investment is also great value for taxpayers.”
Sir Paul Ruddock, Chair of the Expert Panel, First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund and Chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum, said:
“The appeal of cathedrals is vast and enduring. Every part of English history can be seen somewhere within their walls, and I am delighted that this second round of grants is providing vital support to keep them open for all to enjoy.”
Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chairman, Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, said:
“As moving commemorations of the First World War continue to be held across England, it is a most excellent thing to see taxpayer’s money being used to create a lasting legacy of cathedral grants which takes the pressure off building repairs and allows cathedrals to be the centres of remembrance and worship that people rely on them to be. There is always more to be done, but through this scheme government has begun a very vital task.”
Cathedrals are a key part of forming the cultural identity of many of England’s cities, and are powerful symbols of our shared history. But this does not mean they are just icons of the past. They are active and powerful community hubs. In several cities they are at the centre of urban regeneration, providing a focus for civic pride. This includes many cathedrals supported by this round of grant, such as Peterborough and Blackburn, which are both creating vibrant new cathedral quarters.
The Church of England’s 42 cathedrals alone welcome over 11 million visitors a year, employ over 6,000 staff and are supported by approximately 15,000 dedicated volunteers; demonstrating how much cathedrals contribute to, but also depend upon, the communities around them. Church of England cathedrals contribute annually at least £350 million for the national economy. These grants will help them to complete works which are urgently needed for them to stay safe, open and welcoming, and to continue to make this contribution to their communities.
The AEC member cathedrals receiving grants are as follows:
Newcastle £155,572 Repairs to library roof
Blackburn £314,251 High level repairs
Manchester £225,000 Roof replacement/ reinstatement
Liverpool Anglican £275,000 Repairs to Lady Chapel and nave roof
Chester £300,000 High level works and emergency lighting
Portsmouth £594,783 Repairs to tower and south transept
Canterbury £150,000 Repairs to roof of the Martyrdom
Chichester £100,000 Replacing roof to south-east transept
Rochester £153,000 Repairs to roof
East of England
Chelmsford £268,622 Repairs to tower
Peterborough £88,433 Repairs to Old Baptistry Gable
Norwich £491,000 Works to north clerestory & presbytery
Ely £392,060 Repairs to south transept
Hereford £300,000 Repairs to roof
Worcester £250,316 Repairs to east window
Coventry £216,265 Repairs to Crypts
Lincoln £300,000 Repairs to NW transept triforium roof
Bristol £184,000 Replacement boilers
Exeter £277,547 Repairs to chapel of St Andrew & St Catherine
Wells £160,000 Repairs to north nave aisle roof
Truro £500,000 Repairs to nave and nave aisle roof
Ripon £354,617 Repairs to north transept and east elevation
Wakefield £220,000 Repairs to lead roof of quire and nave
York Minster £200,000 Repairs to Camera Cantorum stonework and roof
Bradford £349,479 Repairs to State Gate