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New Joint Cathedral Fabric repair Fund announces first six grants totalling £500,000 as scheme is extended

A new £500,000 fund for cathedral fabric repairs today announced that six successful cathedrals (out of 18 applicants) are to receive grants towards major projects costing a total of more than £4.5 million.  The successful applicants are Durham, Ely, Lichfield, Lincoln, Rochester and York.

The scheme has also been extended to a further £1 million over the next two years, as the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) and the Wolfson Foundation invite other grant-making bodies to join the fund.

The Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chairman of CFCE, said: "Here is the first positive move showing that the Big Society is stepping up to the table as Government withdraws some of its funding. These handsome grants are entirely due to the generosity of the Wolfson Foundation, as part of its charitable support of excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts and humanities.

"Cathedrals not only have to find the necessary funds to maintain some of England's most architecturally and historically significant buildings, but 2009 was the last year of English Heritage's 19-year-old ring-fenced Cathedrals Grant Scheme."

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: "Cathedrals are the most significant buildings within England's wonderful architectural heritage. The Wolfson Foundation is glad to be involved in maintaining them for current and future generations."

Janet Gough, Director, Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division, Archbishops' Council, added: "Given the demand for funding for fabric repairs to cathedrals, we are thrilled that the Wolfson Foundation has agreed to extend the scheme for a further two years.  We continue in conversation with other funding bodies with a view to attracting further participants to this important scheme."



The successful applicants

Durham Great Kitchen - New Lead-lined Outer Roof

Cost 135,000.00  Grant 80,000.00

Ely North Transept - Stonework and Roof Repairs

Cost 278,000.00  Grant 100,000.00

Lichfield Lady Chapel - Stonework Repairs

(in conjunction with conservation of Herkenrode Glass)

Cost 3,690,000.00  Grant 100,000.00

Lincoln South East Transept Triforium - Roof Repairs

Cost 219,550.00  Grant 100,000.00

Rochester Chapter Room/Library - Roof Repairs

Cost 215,000.00  Grant 100,000.00

York Nave - Roof Repair

Cost 39,220.00  Grant 20,000.00

Cathedrals were required to obtain matched funding.

The CFCE is a statutory body, with both regulatory and advisory functions.   It draws together many of the country's most respected experts in their particular fields, who give generously of their time on a voluntary basis. Its Annual Review for 2009 is found on-line.

The Wolfson Foundation is a charity established in 1955 to support excellence, generally through the funding of capital infrastructure in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts and humanities.  The Foundation's endowment is currently some £725 million, with an annual allocation of approximately £35 million. By 2010 more than £600 million had been awarded in grants (in excess of £1 billion in real terms). Over 8,000 projects have been funded.

Eligibility  Anglican cathedrals in England with some Pre-Reformation fabric.  Grants are for major repairs to historic fabric (eg stonework and roofs).

Works required prior approval from either the Cathedrals Fabric Commission (CFCE) or the local Fabric Advisory Committee.

Expert Panel  Grant applications were considered by an Expert Panel, made up of CFCE nominations, representatives of the Wolfson Foundation and others, including architects with experience of large scale historic fabric repairs and experts from related disciplines.

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