£1m Awarded from Cultural Recovery Fund

22nd October 2021

English Cathedrals say thank you after benefitting from almost £1.4m in grants.

Cathedrals say Thank You after being awarded over £1m in latest Cultural Recovery Fund grants

A total of 21 grants worth £6m have been made directly to the Church of England – including to nine of our cathedrals – enabling major works to go ahead at Canterbury, Chester, Leicester, Lichfield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southwark, Wakefield and Worcester.

The cathedrals are just some of the 142 historic sites across England to receive grants worth  £35 million through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund designed to bring heritage sites back to life by paying for vital repairs and major building programmes.

Funding provided earlier in the year.

This means Canterbury Cathedral can now repair the roof of its Trinity Chapel after receiving almost £350,000, Chester received almost £200,000 and can now repair the masonry to its Abbey Gateway, Leicester can repair and restore its masonry with a grant of £198,000, and Lichfield can repair its flying buttresses on the south nave after being awarded a grant totalling £264,404.

Liverpool, Newcastle, Southwark and Wakefield all received smaller grant sums for vital repairs, while Worcester Cathedral was awarded a grant of £328.794 to repair its famous library roof and enable other high level masonry work and repairs.

£1m Awarded from Cultural Recovery Fund - Wakefield Cathedral

Welcoming the announcement, the Church of England’s lead Bishop for Buildings, Viv Faull, who is the Bishop of Bristol, said:

“The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline for communities and today’s Heritage Stimulus Fund announcement is a further boost for projects across the country.

“The appetite and enthusiasm for this scheme shows the scale of need across our churches and cathedrals and, while these grants will address just a small number of the churches requiring repair and improvement in the coming years, it will help them to continue to serve their wider communities as centres of heritage, community and faith.”

Places of worship make up the largest category of listed public buildings in England, totalling 14,600 across every community in England. These are cared for by faith groups and charities and supported by philanthropic trusts. Much of the work to keep these places open and welcoming is done by committed volunteers who care for some of England’s most important heritage.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:

Funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund is hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs. 

“Heritage is a fragile eco-system, with an amazing cast of characters who keep our historic places alive, with specialist skills that take time to learn and experience to perfect. These grants will protect their livelihoods, as they use their expertise to help our heritage survive.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: 

“From local churches to ancient buildings and landscapes, the UK’s unique heritage makes our towns, cities and villages stronger, more vibrant and helps bring communities together. 

“This latest funding – £35 million from our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund – will help protect sites including Jane Austen’s House and Hampton Court Palace for future generations and help them build back better from the pandemic.”

Read the ECORYS research that shows how much cathedrals contribute to their communities here.