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Derby Cathedral awarded £750,000 for once-in-a-generation roof repairs

Derby Cathedral awarded £750,000 for once-in-a-generation roof repairs


cathedral exterior

Image: Derby Cathedral from Cathedral Green, showing the 16th century tower in front of the 18th century nave and 20th century extension. Works will take place on the roof of the nave – an architectural masterpiece by James Gibbs

21st July 2016: For immediate release

Derby Cathedral has today been awarded £750,000 from the £20m First World War Centenary Cathedrals Repair Fund for works to re-lay the lead of the nave roof. The Fund was announced in the March 2016 budget by the then Chancellor, George Osborne, to support urgent repairs to cathedrals across the country.

Lead roofs normally need re-laying once every 100 years. The technique used 50 years ago in laying the lead roof has not stood the test of time, which has shortened its life. To prevent damage to the ornate barrelled nave below the roof, the roof lead will be removed and re-cast in a local foundry, before returning to be re-laid on the Cathedral roof, preserving the Cathedral’s hugely significant history and heritage.

To protect the Cathedral while the works take place, scaffolding will envelop the north and south aisles of the nave (along College Place and the Cathedral churchyard) and a false roof will be built. It is expected that works will start in November 2016 and take less than a year to complete.

Cathedral interior

Image: The interior of Derby Cathedral’s 18th century nave. Work will not affect the interior of the Cathedral; the barrelled plaster vault hides a 20-foot-high roof void in which the work will take place. Scaffolding will be erected around the outer walls of the Cathedral. (Image Credit: Mick Griffiths)

Work will not affect the day-to-day life of the Cathedral, which will remain fully open throughout the works. The repair works will also include repairs to stonemasonry, and will provide opportunities for traditional craftspeople to showcase their work in conservation. The First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund was set up in 2014 in recognition of the significant role cathedrals play in national commemorations. Derby Cathedral has been at the centre of Derby’s commemorations, most recently with the service in the Cathedral for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme; many more events are planned, including major activity in 2018.

The Very Revd Dr John Davies, Dean of Derby, says: “This is wonderful news for Derby Cathedral. It enables us to reroof the nave, securing the Cathedral's fabric for a century to come. This is the largest single grant the Cathedral has ever received. Works are planned to begin this autumn and will take less than a year. However the life and ministry of the Cathedral will be unaffected: reroofing will go on under a false roof constructed over the present nave roof. Derby Cathedral Chapter is very grateful to the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and to government for the grant, and I applaud the Cathedral team who worked so hard on the bid.”

Editor’s Notes Derby Cathedral is the Cathedral for Derby and Derbyshire and a city centre place of worship in the heart of Derby’s Cathedral Quarter. Originally a medieval College, the Cathedral’s Tudor bell tower is the second highest in the UK, and its Enlightenment interior houses fine examples of sculptures from that era. 01332 341201 Contact: Dr Alex Rock, Development Officer

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