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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 March, 2004, 06:35 GMT
Churches get 1m lottery blessing
Fifteen historic churches in the North West are getting more than 1m in grants from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The latest round of funding is announced under the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme.

A total of 1,295,000 has been awarded to churches in Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Individual grants to churches from the joint fund range from 11,000 to 353,000.

It is part of a 17m package which will see improvements to churches across the UK.

'Stunning interior'

The package includes 57,000 funding for St James Church, Whitehaven, a Grade One listed building described as having a "stunning interior" dating back to Georgian times.

It was recently hailed in a book of England's 1,000 best churches.

St Mary's, Widnes, gets the largest single grant of 353,000 to pay for structural repairs and stonemasonry refurbishment.

Tony Jones, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) North West regional manager, said: "Standing as a focal point of communities for generations, our places of worship still play a vital role in towns and villages across England."

He said the announcement demonstrate HLF's commitment to safeguard these "cherished buildings."

The rest of the churches to receive money are:

Cheshire: St Peter's, Aston, Vale Royal (35,000); St James, Christleton (19,000); St Oswald's, Backford (58,000); St Mary's, Widnes (353,000).

Cumbria: St Mungo, Bromfield (41,000); St John the Baptist, Ulpha (10,000).

Lancashire: St Wilfrid, Ribchester (34,000); St Saviour, Stydd (91,000); St Peter's, Darwen (38,000).

Greater Manchester: All Saints, Wigan (137,000); All Saints, Stand, Bury (249,000); St Edmund, Falinge, Rochdale (11,000).


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