Grant Awarded

PRESS RELEASE

Lichfield Cathedral granted £800,000 for lighting and rewiring repairs

Lichfield Cathedral has been named as one of 31 cathedrals to receive a grant from government-sponsored scheme, the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.

The fund was set up to support vital repairs to some of England’s most important historic buildings, and today Chancellor George Osborne has announced grants of between £12,000 and £800,000 for essential repairs.

Lichfield will receive £800,000, the largest of the grants, to go towards their next big fundraising development, the lighting and rewiring project. The Cathedral was facing the possibility of closure without the essential work.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, says: “Lichfield Cathedral is over 700 years old, and the last time it had to close its doors to the public was during a Civil War siege. The possibility of closure was heart-breaking. Cathedral buildings offer so much to so many – at Lichfield we’re currently running a Citizens’ Parliament to discuss the upcoming election, opening up new parts of the church to visitors via our Tower Tours, and celebrating our fine musical tradition. Without this timely and generous grant, all of this this would have been under threat.”

The wiring of Lichfield Cathedral was last done in the 1950s, and light fittings were last installed in 1976. The majority of these lights still stand in the Cathedral today. The new project will see the wiring brought up-to-date to ensure that it meets modern standards, and the lights will be replaced with new energy-saving fittings which will enhance architectural features as well as provide more flexibility for events. The Cathedral is currently supplied by three electrical intakes, all supplied by different substations. The new system will consist of one single intake and will reduce electrical consumption by over 75%.

The final round of grants has been made available as part of the £20m First World War Centenary Repairs Fund, which was first announced by the Chancellor in the budget in March 2014.

Lichfield Cathedral, which recently welcomed back the Herkenrode Glass following a 5-year long £3.7m restoration, will now look to find further funding to complete the lighting and rewiring project, which is expected to begin in the next few months.