HELP FOR HERITAGE AS ST JOHN’S CHURCH, BIRKBY, RECEIVES LIFELINE FROM GOVERNMENT’S CULTURE RECOVERY FUND
- More help for heritage in need with £14 million investment in England’s historic sites
- St John’s Church, Birkby among 162 organisations receiving lifeline grant from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
- Culture across the country benefits as 70 per cent of latest Culture Recovery funding awarded outside London
Lifeline grants from the latest round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will protect a further 162 heritage sites to ensure that jobs and access to arts, culture and heritage in local communities are protected in the months ahead, the Culture Secretary announced today.
Historic sites including St John’s Church, Birkby will receive help to meet ongoing costs and support to restart activity when it is possible to do so safely.
More than £9 million has been allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which builds on £103 million awarded to more significant historic places last month. Grants between £10,000 and £1 million have been awarded to stabilise 77 organisations.
In addition, £5 million will go to construction and maintenance projects that have been paused due to the pandemic.
Historic England has allocated £3,971,513 in awards from the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of a £120 million capital investment from the Culture Recovery Fund, to restart construction and maintenance projects facing delays or increased costs as a result of the pandemic and save specialist livelihoods in the sector.
£24,962 was granted to St John’s towards the cost of urgent work to the tower to halt serious rain ingress.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, 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.
From St Paul’s and Ronnie Scott’s to The Lowry and Durham Cathedral, we’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it can bounce back strongly.”
Tony Clarke & Grahame Berry (churchwardens at St John’s), said:
St John’s Church was consecrated in 1853 and is a grade ll* listed building. The design is by Mr W Butterfield the famous Victorian architect of London and was built by Mr Joseph Kaye the Huddersfield Builder. The stained glass is the main treasure of the church, the East Window being a memorial to the fallen of World War 1 and is a magnificent portrayal of various saints.
One of the smaller West windows portrays a colourful display of the history of the town’s many facets of how people were employed (ie textiles, coal mining, engineering, the shepherd and his working companion the collie dog). The other smaller window shows the Bishop and the attentive priest and in the background of the same window, the church. Most beautiful of all, centrally placed, the main West Window is based on the Te-Deum (to the Glory of God) depicting seraphim and all the angels.
In 2008, vandals in trying to steal the lightning conductor managed to pull down the top of the spire which crashed through the South roof and church floor into the basement, which cost £750,000 to repair (under insurance). In 2012 the East Window and wall had to be restored to prevent collapse. In 2014 the North roof was restored externally followed by the South roof in 2018 (both externally & internally). These works were supported by grants from English Heritage and latterly the Heritage Lottery Fund. Work to the tower is now very urgent to stop serious rain ingress.
74 organisations are also receiving grants of up to £25,000 from the Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund, launched by Historic England and almost quadrupled thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund, to cover maintenance and repairs urgently needed on historic buildings and sites up and down the country.