COVENTRY Cathedral is celebrating receiving a near £1million windfall – the largest government grant in the UK for repairs to mark the first world war centenary.
The cathedral has been awarded £870,000 from the national First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.
It will be used to remount slates at the cathedral’s Chapel of Unity.
The work, expected to take two years, will restore a huge external facade.
The grant is among a total of £14.5million issued to refurbish want the government described as ‘powerful symbols’ of British history.
Coventry and its cathedral has established an international reputation for its work on peace and reconciliation.
The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry, said he was “absolutely thrilled” to receive the grant, coming two years after money was awarded to complete restoration work at the Cathedral ruins and the old crypts.
He said: “We’ve got some waterproofing done in the crypts which will take a couple of years to dry out and the larger of those crypts was designated in 1946 as a Chapel of Unity.
“Then when the new cathedral was built, a new Chapel of Unity was part of that structure.
“It was built in 1962, they were trying out new building methods and some of those worked and some of them worked a little bit less well.
“So there’s a huge piece of work to refit all the slates around that old Chapel of Unity.”
The funding scheme is for ‘necessary repair works’ to prevent further deterioration the fabric of listed Anglican and Catholic cathedral churches in England.
Grants have also been awarded to cathedrals in Liverpool, Canterbury, York and Lichfield.
Grants of more than £500,000 are ‘exceptional’, the rules state.
There in one further funding round, applications for which close in September. Work has to be carried out before March 2018.