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Cathedrals secure £8million for repairs as part of First World War Centenary Fund

Second round of grants from the First World War (FWW) Centenary Cathedral Repair Fund announced by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid

Cathedrals across England will receive over £8million for urgent repairs. From Arundel to York, 31 cathedrals across England will now be able to fix leaking roofs, repair stained glass windows and spires, and carry out many other important works, making the total number of cathedrals receiving funding through the programme 41.

The fund was announced in Budget 2014, and set up in April this year in recognition of the powerful symbol our cathedrals are of Britain’s shared history, as well as the significant role they will play throughout the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.

Visiting Portsmouth Cathedral which is to receive nearly £600,000, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, who also leads the Government’s FWW Centenary programme, said:

Our heritage in this country is precious and unique. We need to do all we can to protect it for future generations. This second round of grants will ensure that even more of our magnificent and awe-inspiring cathedrals can complete urgent and much needed repairs, so they can continue to play a huge role in the communities they serve.

Our places of worship are also playing a huge part in all our plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, and this Fund is helping to ensure they can fulfil this role to remember those who gave so much for us so many years ago.

Rt Honourable George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

Many Britons will have visited a cathedral this summer to attend a remembrance service marking the Great War, and this £8m grant, part of £20m I announced at the last Budget, will ensure that these beautiful and historic buildings remain much loved places of worship and remembrance for another century to come. Our great cathedrals are the envy of the world, bringing many tourists to the cities of UK, so this investment is also great value for taxpayers.

Sir Paul Ruddock, Chair of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund expert panel and Chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum, said:

The appeal of cathedrals is vast and enduring. Every part of English history can be seen somewhere within their walls, and I am delighted that this second round of grant is providing vital support to keep them open for all to enjoy.

The £20million Cathedral Repairs Fund was announced by the Chancellor in the Budget 2014. Grants will allow cathedrals to undertake urgent repair work, including keeping the building wind-proof, weather-tight, safe and open to the public, and preventing further deterioration of the building.

This is the second round of funding allocations and will be followed by one more. The final round will close in January 2015.

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