£25k to Bradford Cathedral in final round of Government grants

Lord Bourne at BradfordFinal phase of grants to cathedrals from First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund announced

Bradford Cathedral is to receive £25,000 in the final phase of a two year grants programme to English cathedrals for urgent repairs is announced this week.

Grants totalling £5,423,000 have been awarded to 24 Church of England and Catholic cathedrals for repairs including to stained glass windows, stone pinnacles, and roofs as well as drainage and lighting.

Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch said:

"The First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund has done fantastic work to help revive and restore stunning cathedrals across the country.

"Cathedrals are not only beautiful pieces of architecture, they hold centuries of our nation's history and are centrepieces in our communities. This important fund will help maintain and repair these historic buildings so they can be enjoyed for years to come by everyone."

Last month, Communities Minister, Lord Bourne (pictured left) visited Bradford Cathedral at the start of a one year ‘grand tour’ in which he aims to visit every cathedral in England.  He saw work carried out in the first two phases of the Governments WW1 Fund grants including the major renovation of the  Victorian State Gate, built to connect the cathedral to the city.  This April Bradford Cathedral  received further money for new heating.

The latest grant is earmarked for repairs to the Bell Tower. The Dean of Bradford, Very Revd Jerry Lepine, welcomed the news.

“We are delighted and very grateful for this this latest First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund grant towards some essential repairs on our bell tower. We are committed to ensuring that the wonderful bells at this cathedral continue to be heard in the city.”

In total,£40 million has been allocated through 146 awards to 57 cathedrals, with twelve cathedrals awarded more than £1 million each and the average award being £274,000. The largest number of projects (approximately a third) are for roof repairs, followed by high-level stonework repairs, then repairs to towers and stained glass windows. A number of essential infrastructure projects (rewiring, drainage, heating systems) have also been supported.

Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester and lead bishop for the Church of England, said: 'Cathedrals are not only the jewel in the crown of our built heritage, they are at the heart of our nation's common life - through commemoration, remembering, celebration and grief. People can find space and solace in them, both in large acts of worship and solitary contemplation. These welcome grants ensure that they continue to enrich our society in the future.'

The Church of England's 42 cathedrals are estimated to contribute around £220 million to the national economy every year through employment and tourism. They welcome more than 11 million visitors annually, employ more than 7,000 people and are supported by 15,000 dedicated volunteers.

Dame Fiona Reynolds Chair, Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, said: "These grants have enabled our Cathedrals to take another step forward in the task of ensuring they are in good shape to offer future generations the extraordinary experiences that inspire so many of us today".

The grants have brought work to specialist trades such as stonemasonry and glazing as well as training partnerships such as at Southwark where the work from the grants will include a training partnership with the City and Guilds of London Art School.

Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, said: 'This announcement shows the Government's continuing commitment to supporting the national role of cathedrals as community centres, places of education and training, as well as peaceful retreats and places of great beauty. The £40m Fund is a farsighted investment that will bring a return to cities across the country.'

Sir Paul Ruddock, Chair of the Expert Panel of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, which assessed the grant applications, said: 'England's cathedrals are at the heart of its communities and this second tranche of funding has enabled essential repairs for buildings, some of which are almost 1000 years old.  In every case, the repairs funded have prevented much more costly problems developing and we are very grateful for the government's continued support '

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