Harrogate church awarded £145k for large-scale development

St Wilfrids harrogateA landmark parish in Harrogate has received a grant of £145,000 from the heritage Lottery Fund.

St Wilfrid’s, on Duchy Road, Harrogate, has been awarded the ‘pump priming’ grant towards the St Wilfrid’s Development Project which aims to renew and restore multiple aspects of Harrogate town’s only Grade 1 listed building, and encourage community engagement in the important Heritage asset.

If, after feasibility studies and initial preparation work, the project can go ahead, it is estimated that the total cost will be more than £2 million partly funded by a second stage grant from the heritage Lottery Fund towards the costs of carrying out essential conservation and much needed renovation work, including new heating and lighting schemes as well as the provision of enhanced facilities to welcome visitors.  

The development funding of £145,000 has been awarded to help St Wilfrid’s progress their plans and, after initial work, apply for a full grant at a later date. It is hoped that if successful, works will start in the Autumn of 2015, with the church re-opening a year later.  Part of the plan will be to develop an educational programme to increase the number of residents and visitors, young and old, who engage with the historic landmark building, with volunteers given training so they can help care for the church.

The building is a focal point for the local community and is currently used by over 1000 people each week. It was built in 1914 and has seen significant additions and alterations throughout its existence. St Wilfrid’s, standing at the heart of the Duchy Estate is a working parish church, built on a large scale, and is the size of a small cathedral.

Fr Gary Waddington, Team Rector of St Wilfrid’s said: “In the week in which we’ve celebrated the centenary of this extraordinary Parish Church, we’re absolutely delighted to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. St Wilfrid’s hasn’t just been a place of worship for the past 100 years, it has been a place for music and the arts, and a centre for the whole community. It’s fantastic news that we are a step closer to preserving it, and further enhancing it for another century.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Fiona Spiers, Head of HLF for Yorkshire and the Humber said, “St Wilfrid’s is a stunning and significant building which also provides a great insight into the varied heritage of the local area. We hope that more people will be able to learn about, engage with and experience what St Wilfrid’s and its people have to offer. HLF is pleased to support this worthwhile project.” 

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