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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 10:31 GMT
Cash boost for cathedral repairs
Peterborough Cathedral
Gables on the west front of the cathedral will be repaired
Five cathedrals in the east of England are to get thousands of pounds worth of grants to carry out essential repairs.

The money from English Heritage and the Wolfson Foundation will go on masonry repairs and sculpture conservation.

St Albans will receive 75,00, Ely will get 16,000, Norwich cathedrals 25,000 and 85,000 and Peterborough 51,000.

The Reverend Colin Slee Dean of Southwark speaking on behalf of the Association of English Cathedrals, said he welcomed the contribution.

But he added: "Several cathedrals still need enormous injections of money if conservation is to succeed."

The grants will go to help repair 24 Anglican and Catholic cathedrals around England as part of a 6m scheme to be spread over three years.

'Power of architecture'

Part of the work involves replacing the cloister drainage system at Norwich Church of England Cathedral and repairs to the gables on the West Front of Peterborough Cathedral.

Vital work at the east end of Ely Cathedral will be undertaken where the stonework and glazing is in need of repair.

Sir Neil Cossons, chairman of English Heritage, said: "Even in this uncertain and often cynical age, cathedrals still have the ability to bring us to our knees with awe, just as the masons and craftspeople who created them centuries ago intended.

"They, more than any other type of building, demonstrate the power of architecture to affect us at the most profound level and to remind us of our place in history."

The announcement comes after protests in the Commons in December over the level of funding for cathedrals.

The English Heritage cathedral grants scheme has been running since 1991 when a survey showed that the country's 61 cathedrals were facing a backlog of repairs that they could not fund alone.

Since then the scheme has contributed 43.4m towards works.

But English Heritage said cuts in funding meant it was forced to reduce its grant scheme to 1m a year in 2004.

Cathedral restoration work begins
17 Jul 06 |  Cambridgeshire

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