Page last updated at 10:07 GMT, Sunday, 30 May 2010 11:07 UK

Bid to reopen 12th Century Reading Abbey

Reading Abbey
Repairs to the abbey could cost 3m and take five years

A council is to seek millions of pounds-worth of funding to reopen a 12th Century abbey in Berkshire.

Reading Abbey has been closed to the public for more than a year because the structure is too unsafe.

Reading Borough Council said a study to find out what work needed doing would cost £90,000 while the cost of repairs was estimated to reach about £3m.

If the funding bids are successful the abbey could be closed for up to five years while the work is completed.

The abbey was built in 1121 by Henry I who is reputed to be buried there.

Culture and sport councillor Thomas Stanway said: "We will be looking at the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding bodies to try and get the money for the building from them because currently the budgets are all very tight.

"It's going to be a challenge but we are determined to find the money to restore the building."

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