Historic cathedrals face repair struggle as English Heritage grant is cut

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Historic cathedrals will struggle to carry out vital repair work when English Heritage withdraws a £3 million-a-year conservation grant.

An alarming number of cathedrals are crumbling, with masonry falling from the walls, water leaking through roofs, and pillars being held together with duct tape, church authorities have warned. The Sunday Telegraph revealed last week that parts of Canterbury cathedral have been fenced off as unsafe.

Simon Thurley, the chief executive of English Heritage, said last night that the cuts were unavoidable and blamed the Government for squeezing his organisation's funding.

Ministers responded by insisting that the decision to withdraw the funding to cathedrals lay with English Heritage, not the Government.

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