£7 Million to help repair England's Historic Places of Worship
Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage announce £7 million of Grants for Grade II Listed Places of Worship
Announced in conjunction with today's Government report on improving quality of place
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and English Heritage (EH) today announced a package of grants worth £7 million for essential repairs to Grade II listed places of worship across England. The grants will help to repair 56 historic places of worship which are used by a broad range of faiths.
A Sikh temple in Nottingham, a Synagogue in London's East End and a Greek Orthodox church in Salford are among the buildings receiving grants. The largest grant of £323,000 will be given to Alderley Edge Methodist Church in Cheshire for repairs to the tower and spire.
Since 2002 more than £156m in essential repair grants has been awarded to almost 1,700 projects in historic places of worship through the joint Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme, which is the largest single funding source for work of this kind. In total this year the scheme has given £22.9m of new grants to 206 listed Places of Worship.
Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: "These special buildings are right at the centre of community life and urgently need investment. This money will not only protect them for the future but also help to create 175 jobs.
"Looking after our heritage is an incredibly effective way of supporting community life generally. This is recognised in today's Government strategy for improving quality of place. Serious investment like this goes well beyond looking after the bricks and mortar of a building, bringing with it substantial social and economic benefits too."
Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said, "English Heritage is delighted to be announcing these repair grants for historic places of worship – particularly on the day that the government launches 'World Class Places'. Historic buildings connect us to our past and enhance our enjoyment of the places in which we live, work and worship. These beautiful listed buildings are at the heart of our communities and they must remain in active use. We are especially pleased that buildings used by such a broad range of religious groups are being awarded grants this year."
Mr Gurcharn Singh Bhaker of the Guru Teg Bahadur Sikh Gurdwara in Nottingham said: "This fantastic old school building has been a crucial part of the local Sikh community for 32 years, providing somewhere for generations of people to come together for prayer, music and social events.
"We are delighted to receive this grant which will help us bring the building back to its former glory. The roof repair work is just the start of a wider refurbishment plan for the building which will improve facilities for people of all ages."
An Urgent and Ongoing TaskThe grants fund urgent work such as roof repairs and repairs to brick, stonework or roof timbers. The Church of England currently spends £120m a year on repairs but according to English Heritage research published as part of its Inspired! campaign the backlog repair bill for all listed places of worship in England is an estimated £185m a year. Inspired! identified the need for more investment from Government and faith groups to help congregations look after their buildings.
Find Funded Places of Worship to Visit Online
One of the conditions of the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme is that the public have a right to see those buildings which have benefited from this public money. Prospective visitors can now search on the English Heritage website for details of how to visit places of worship whose repairs have been grant-aided under the scheme.
Examples of how the £7m for repairs will be spent:
Guru Teg Bahadur Sikh Gudwara Temple in Lenton, Nottingham is a former church school building in Lenton, Nottingham, dating back to 1841. It is receiving one of the largest grants in the East Midlands, £171,000, for vital roof repairs. It is one of Nottingham's largest Sikh temples and is regularly used by more than 600 members and the local community for worship, teaching and social activities.
St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent is an unusual Italianate style building. The church was designed by J S Brocklesby in 1925 and is constructed in red and blue bricks originally supplied by the local Fenton Colliery Company. The sanctuary and ceiling panels are lavishly decorated with paintings. Cracks in the walls and a leaking roof are threatening this splendid internal decoration. A grant of £81,000 will be used for urgently needed structural repairs to stonework, roofs and gutters.
Alderley Edge Methodist Church was built by Healy and Son and completed in 1863. The clock in the tower, installed in 1850 by Mr Roberts, a clockmaker from Lancashire, is said to be one of only three ever made entirely from cast iron. A grant of £323,000 will fund repairs to the tower and spire. There are significant problems with corroding ironwork and splitting masonry. Full scaffolding will be needed to carry out the repairs, which will involve dismantling part of the spire and rebuilding it using stainless steel cramps and cross trees.
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Salford was built between 1860 and 1861 to designs by Clegg and Knowles. It serves a large urban congregation including many Greek students and short term residents.
This grant is for £100,000 for renewal of the slating and leadwork to the west portico, repairing the stonework to the portico and two of the west bays of the nave, and timber and plaster repairs.
Sandys Row Synagogue in Tower Hamlets, London has been awarded a grant of £254,000 for major repairs to its roof along with repairs to defective brickwork and rainwater goods. The synagogue was originally built as a chapel for a congregation of French Huguenots in 1766. It was later consecrated as a synagogue in 1870 for a group of Dutch Ashkenazi Jews. The interior, with its galleries, has changed little since the nineteenth century.