Major asbestos works about to take place at Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral is about to undergo major asbestos removal works, which will allow full maintenance access to its hardest to reach areas.

The Cathedral has been awarded £70,000 in the final phase of grants from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.

The cash will be used to fund the urgent removal of asbestos from roof spaces above the Cathedral's Quire aisles and north porch.

It will allow safe inspection and maintenance of spaces which have been inaccessible without strict control in recent years.

"This grant will make it possible to record the condition of these parts of the roof space as we shape our major works schedule for the next 10 years and beyond."

The Cathedral's Development Director, Paul Courtney, also welcomed the news.

"The First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund has allowed Exeter Cathedral to undertake a large amount of high-priority work on the building's fabric and infrastructure.

"It has helped to address some of the significant challenges of maintaining these ancient and important buildings for future generations".

Sir Paul Ruddock, Chair of the Expert Panel of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, which assessed the grant applications, said: "England's cathedrals are at the heart of its communities and this second tranche of funding has enabled essential repairs for buildings, some of which are almost 1000 years old.

"In every case, the repairs funded have prevented much more costly problems developing and we are very grateful for the government's continued support."

The Church of England's 42 cathedrals are estimated to contribute around £220 million to the national economy every year through employment and tourism.

They welcome more than 11 million visitors annually, employ more than 7,000 people and are supported by 15,000 dedicated volunteers.

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