English Cathedrals will be able to bid for money to make repairs as part of a World War One Commemoration inspired fund. In the budget he Chancellor committed £20m over the next two years for the cathedrals repair fund. The scheme will focus on repairs to buildings and should be needed to keep the building wind-proof, weather-tight, safe and open to the public.
Cathedrals are powerful symbols of our shared history, and will be natural focal points for reflection and remembrance as the nation comes together to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
In a joint statement, The Church of England and Catholic Church in England said
"By investing in the buildings, we will be able to showcase our cathedrals at their best, as they offer a range of events, commemorations and services to their communities. The terms of the scheme have now been finalised and applications are open."
The grant applications will be assessed by an expert panel, with the money being split across three application rounds: £4m in May 2014, £6m in September 2014 and £10m in January 2015
The Church of England's 41 Cathedrals welcome over 11 million visitors a year with only 6000 staff but over 15,000 dedicated volunteers; demonstrating how much Cathedrals contribute, but also how much they depend upon the communities around them
The first round of applications for the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund are open from 25th April. Detailed criteria and an online application form can be accessed at http://www.churchcare.co.uk/cathedrals/funding-and-grants.
The Director of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, Janet Gough explains more about the scheme.