Lottery windfall for historic St Mary’s

Latest breaking news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournall on Twitter
Latest breaking news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournall on Twitter
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An historic Newmarket church is set to receive a grant of more than £97,000 to replace a roof in urgent need of repair.

St Mary’s parish church has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to replace the roof of the nave which is showing serious signs of wear. Development work on the project is due to start next month.

Development funding of £7,700 has been awarded to help St Mary’s church progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date and it is hoped that the roof will have been completely re-laid by February 2016.

“It’s fantastic news,” said St Mary’s parochial church council treasurer, Joanne Goodchild and the rector of St Mary’s, the Rev John Hardy said: “We are very heritage-conscious and want to do the right thing to safeguard this beautiful building for future generations. The current nave roof has been there for about a century, so owes us nothing. A make-do-and-mend, piecing-and-patching approach has served the church community well over the years, but the time for a basic replacement is now here. By next summer, we expect to be in a position to apply for the delivery instalment of our grant allocation, up to £89,400, enabling us to re-roof the nave of St Mary’s.”

As part of the roofing project there will also be an opportunity for schoolchildren, students and building apprentices to learn on-site about traditional roofing craft skills in the hope it will encourage young people seeking a career in the construction industry.