Surrey

Guildford Cathedral raises 90% of £7m repairs target

Guildford Cathedral organ Image copyright Guildford Cathedral/Leo Kennedy
Image caption Repairs due to start in October will include restoration of the cathedral's organ

A 1960s-built cathedral that was "at serious risk of closure" has raised more than 90% of its £7m target for urgent repairs and development.

Officials at Grade II listed Guildford Cathedral said last year it was at risk because of deteriorating plasterwork, which contained asbestos.

A £7m fundraising campaign was launched and now has only £500,000 left to meet the final target.

Preparatory work will begin next month before building starts in October.

Lottery grant

The building, which is the last Church of England cathedral to be consecrated on a new site, is visible for miles from its Stag Hill location.

Earlier this month, the cathedral was awarded a £4.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It has also raised funds from donations and a "buy a brick" campaign, which more than 200,000 people took part in.

"Guildford Cathedral is a unique and vital community resource that brings people together," Mayor of Guildford David Elms, told a benefactor reception on Tuesday.

"So many have already responded - because saving the cathedral matters."

Repairs and improvements will include restoration of the cathedral's organ, better disabled access, new lighting and sound system and making its archive materials more easily available to the public.

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