The scaffolding around St Peter’s Church is set to finally come down now the church has been given money to carry out the final stage of restoration.
Work first began on the Grade II* listed building, known affectionately as Brighton’s cathedral, in 2009.
Repairs to the main building were finished in 2014, and work to the tower started later that year, originally scheduled to take just 18 months.
But difficulties raising the huge sums required meant the project stalled – until this week, when the church learnt it has been given £240,000 from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to make repairs to the lower tower.
This phase of the project, due to be completed by late spring 2021, will see the tower fully safe and cleaned – preserving it from further deterioration, and the scaffolding removed which is nearing the end of its economic life.
However, the work won’t quite be complete and future phases are expected to enable further restoration of the lower part of the tower and to allow the missing pinnacles to be rebuilt.
Archie Coates, Vicar of St Peter’s Church Brighton said: “St Peter’s, located at the heart of the city, has long been a place where the people of Brighton and beyond have found community, love, and hope in Jesus.
“This restoration project has always made the building appear closed, but we’re very much open and alive.
“We’ve got Christmas Carol services throughout December, both online and in person.
“We also launched a crisis response in the spring, in partnership with the national Love Your Neighbour initiative, with hundreds of volunteers packing and sending 850 weekly hampers to those most vulnerable in the city, including food, handmade gifts and essential items and are underway to carry out a similar operation in December.”
St Peter’s is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a share of £103 million in grants.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”
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