Press release

England cathedrals benefit from £14.5 million government investment to help protect nation’s heritage

Almost 40 cathedrals across England will benefit from government funding of £14.5 million for repairs to help secure their future, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced today.

St Albans Cathedral

Awarded from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, it will see 39 grants allocated to help safeguard cathedrals, including keeping buildings wind-proof, weather-tight, safe and open to the public.

The Chancellor announced the first £20 million phase of the fund in 2014, and allocated a further £20 million in the budget in March.

Decisions on funding allocations are taken by an expert panel which includes English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Church of England and the Catholic Church.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said:

Cathedrals are powerful symbols of Britain’s shared history. They are important not only for their architecture and heritage, but also for the vital role they play in local communities.

I am delighted that the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund will ensure that these wonderful cathedrals remain in a good state of repair and are preserved for future generations.

The Church of England’s 42 cathedrals are estimated to contribute £220 million to the economy every year, and welcome more than 11 million visitors annually.

Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, said:

Cathedrals which benefitted from the first phase of this fund have been repaired and refurbished, and staff and volunteers have time and resources to serve their cities and regions with renewed energy.

It is fantastic that more cathedrals are now able to benefit from this scheme. England’s cathedrals are a wonderfully diverse group, encompassing not only vast, world-famous medieval buildings such as Durham, Lincoln and Canterbury, but also smaller churches like Wakefield and Leicester.

Thirty-two Church of England cathedrals will receive between £15,000 to £870,000. The largest grant of £870,000 goes to Coventry Cathedral for re-fixing the exterior slates of the Chapel of Unity, designed by Sir Basil Spence.

Other cathedrals to receive funding include Bradford, Liverpool, Salisbury, Gloucester and Newcastle.

Sir Paul Ruddock, Chair of the Expert Panel of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, which assesses the grant applications, said:

In 2014 the Chancellor announced the first £20 million phase of the Fund, intended to get our wonderful heritage of Cathedral buildings waterproof and weather-tight, safe and open and in good shape for the commemorations of the First World War Centenary in which they are playing such a key part.

I and all those who love these great buildings were delighted when he announced a further £20 million for the Fund in the March 2016 budget. It will now run until 2018 and the works it will have supported between 2014 and 2018 will stand as a very fitting memorial to the First World War a century earlier.

Notes to editors:

On how funding is allocated

Decisions on funding allocations are taken by an expert panel, which considers the grant applications against the published criteria for the scheme and decides which cathedrals should receive funding. The panel is chaired by Sir Paul Ruddock and includes senior figures from English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Church of England and the Catholic Church, as well as church architects, architectural historians and grant giving experts.

On the most common repairs

  • Roof repairs – Lichfield, Derby, Guildford, Sheffield, Liverpool, Rochester, Hereford, Carlisle, Southwell, Canterbury, Lincoln – ranging from to £250,000 (Canterbury) to £750,000 (Derby)

  • Restoration of stained glass windows - Winchester, Wakefield and Worcester – ranging from £390,000 (Worcester) to £500,000 (Winchester).

  • Stone work at Lichfield, St Albans, Gloucester, Salisbury, York, Ripon, Leicester – ranging from £160,000 (Chichester) to £550,000 (Salisbury).

Download the Recipients of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Fabric Repairs Fund - Phase 2 1st Round June 2016 (MS Word Document, 107KB)

Explore Cathedrals awarded funding in our Google Map

Published 21 July 2016