Exeter Cathedral awarded £170,000 for urgent repairs

Exeter Cathedral awarded £170,000 for urgent repairs

Exeter Cathedral has been awarded £170,000 for vital repairs to keep the building dry as part of the government’s First World War Centenary Cathedrals repair fund.

The grant will pay for urgent work to the drainage around the Cathedral, which is vital for taking water away from the stonework and not causing damp and decay.

The Dean, Very Revd Jonathan Draper, welcomed the grant, and said it would pay for important work to part of the Cathedral which – though unnoticed by the thousands of visitors who pass through its doors each year – was vital for the building’s long term maintenance and conservation.

“We are really grateful for this grant to pay for drainage repairs which, though it may not seem like a very exciting conservation work, is essential if we are to maintain the building for future generations to come.”

The Cathedral’s Clerk of Works Chris Sampson said the grant would also pay for installing bore holes in the ground around the Cathedral to inspect how water is flowing away from the building and see if more work is needed.

The Cathedral has already begun some of the drainage repairs itself, from its own funds, around other areas of the building.

Mr Sampson said: “This grant will complete the third section of work that runs west from the North Tower, and joins the West Front. It is worth bearing in mind and imagining just how great a volume of water flows down from all the roofs of the Cathedral into the drains, in a heavy downpour, which has to be disposed of!"

“Once complete, this work will be unnoticeable but it is crucial if we are to avoid the great problems that manifest sometimes decades and centuries later.

“There is always plenty to do from major repairs to patch ups on a building like the Cathedral, but this work is a real step towards its long term preservation.”

Thirty-nine grants totalling £14.5 million have  been announced by government for urgent repairs to Church of England and Catholic cathedrals in England. This is the second phase of grants awarded by the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.

Welcoming the announcement Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair, Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, said: “Cathedrals are the beating hearts of their communities, offering sanctuary, beauty, collective history, and social and economic support to people of every generation.”

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