The announcement by the Chancellor earlier today of the last round of grants to cathedrals in England under the First World War Centenary Cathedrals Repairs Fund brings welcome news to seven Catholic cathedrals and 24 Church of England cathedrals. A total of £1,370,230 has been awarded in this third and final round. This brings the total offered to Catholic cathedrals to £3,744,758. The WWI Centenary Cathedral Repairs fund of £20m was announced by the Chancellor in last year’s budget.
The largest grant in this round was to Plymouth Cathedral (£398,496) to fund urgent roof repairs, repointing of stonework at high level and the conservation of the west window.
Shrewsbury Cathedral has been awarded £280,866 for major improvements to the west end of the cathedral including the provision for disabled access into the front of the building.
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral has secured £191,168 to repair the massive north and south bronze doors and to commence work on the major and complex project to restore its magnificent lantern with stained glass designed in the 1960s by John Piper.
Norwich Cathedral will be able to complete the final phase of re-leading the main roof with a grant of £179,900.
Nottingham has received £140,000 for renewal of high level gutters and provision of new drainage around the cathedral to prevent damp penetrating the building and
Westminster is receiving a £100,000 towards its ongoing roof repairs. Portsmouth has been awarded £79,800 to enable the removal of cement pointing and replacement with lime mortar pointing to prevent further fabric decay.
Archbishop George Stack, Chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Patrimony Committee, said:
“The announcement of the third round of grants through the World War I Cathedral Grants Scheme has been of enormous significance to Catholic cathedrals throughout the country. Many of these cathedrals are situated in inner city areas with the challenges related to their location. All of them seek to serve the wider community, often with major problems connected to the maintenance of the fabric of these fine buildings. Urgent works to roofs, stonework as well as access and other essential facilities are ongoing responsibilities for those maintaining these fine buildings. The initiative of the Chancellor in establishing this fund, which has now offered well over £3.5m to Catholic cathedrals is a great encouragement to all those working so hard to maintain their presence and develop their mission in challenging times.”