Ely Cathedral receives ‘lifeline’ £25,000 grant for ‘urgent restoration’

Ely Cathedral has benefitted from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund for urgent repairs to the Lady Chapel.

Ely Cathedral has benefitted from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund for urgent repairs to the Lady Chapel. - Credit: Ely Cathedral 

Ely Cathedral has received a “lifeline” grant for urgent repairs to the Lady Chapel as part of the country’s ‘Culture Recovery Fund’.  

The Government’s £1.57 billion fund was created to cover repairs during the coronavirus pandemic and Ely Cathedral has received the maximum amount.  

The west gable wall of the Lady Chapel – which dates back to 1321 – will undergo “urgent restoration work” thanks to the £25,000 cash boost.  

Oliver Dowden, culture secretary, said: “These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities.  

“We’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it's there for future generations to enjoy.”  


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Ely Cathedral is a key attraction to visitors as well as being a venue for concerts and recitals, charity dinners, exhibitions, conferences, film sets and much more.  

Ely Cathedral has benefitted from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

Ely Cathedral has benefitted from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. - Credit: Timothy Selvage

A cathedral spokesperson said: “The Lady Chapel has a large stone cross on the exterior wall, which over time, has become unstable particularly in high winds.  

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“On further inspection, other defects of this medieval gable wall were identified, resulting in an urgent request for funding for crucial restoration works to stabilise the large cross and prevent the loss of significant fabric to the building.” 

Clive England, Surveyor to the Fabric at Ely, said: “We are hugely grateful for this recent financial support.  

“The grant will enable us to urgently carry out this crucial work to restore the integrity of the fabric, and ensure it is safe for everyone who comes to experience one of the most significant examples of medieval architecture.”  

Duncan Wilson, Historic England chief executive, said: “Historic places across the country are being supported by the Government’s grants awarded under the Culture Recovery Fund.  

“This funding is a lifeline which is kick-starting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of COVID-19.  

“It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning.  

“Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”  

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