At-risk Guildford Cathedral gets funding boost

Guildford Cathedral Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The cathedral needs to raise £1.3m in order for the Heritage Lottery Fund to give it £4.5m for improvement work

The campaign to restore a cathedral which could close if it fails to raise enough money for repairs has received a funding boost.

Guildford Cathedral needed to raise £1.3m by the end of August to secure £4.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A spokeswoman for the cathedral said a total of £1.2m had been raised so far.

An anonymous trust has now agreed to match donations to the appeal up to a total of £45,000 in an "11th-hour development".

The cathedral has said it was "at serious risk of closure" due to the deterioration of the plaster on the ceiling vaults.

The spokeswoman said the appeal, to pay for urgent repairs, was the first of two fundraising phases.

'Long-term future'

It needs to raise £7m to save the building, and "equip it to meet the challenges of the 21st Century", including improving disabled access, installing new lighting and a sound system, and making its archive materials more easily available to the public.

Earlier this week, the cathedral announced it had entered into an agreement with Linden Homes to put forward proposals to develop new homes on land it owns at Stag Hill.

"This will help to secure a long-term future for the Cathedral as well as meeting an element of local housing need as identified by Guildford Borough Council," the spokeswoman said.

The cathedral, which featured in the 1976 horror film The Omen, attracts 90,000 visitors a year,

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