A grant from The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation has enabled vital restoration work at Ely Cathedral to begin.
Following over two years of fundraising and planning, essential work to restore the north wall of the 11th century North Transept gets underway this week. The generosity of several private donors, as well as major grants from charitable trusts including The Headley Trust, The Garfield Weston Foundation and The Friends of Ely Cathedral, contributed towards achieving the £520,000 funding target.
However, it was only recently that the appeal was able to be completed thanks to the support of The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, which stepped in with the final piece of funding. Much of the income of the Foundation comes from the Duchy Originals line sold in Waitrose and from the profits from tours of the garden at Highgrove. Helen Bright, Director of Development at Ely Cathedral, is very grateful to the Foundation for their funding. “ We are delighted that the appeal has reached completion thanks to the support of The Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation and HRH The Prince of Wales. This has enabled us to move forward with the urgent restoration of a key area of the Cathedral, enhancing the experience of our community, and ensuring its viability for the next hundred years.”
The North Transept area has a very significant role in the day to day life of the Cathedral. It provides congregational and concert seating, is extensively used by schools from all over the region for educational visits and, as well as being a key area of hospitality, it gives access to visitors to the world famous Octagon tower. The north face of the transept is one of the earliest surviving parts of the building, dating back to 1080.
The contract was awarded to Fairhurst Ward Abbots, who have successfully completed previous restoration projects on the Cathedral. The works are expected to continue until February 2015.