DURHAM Cathedral is launching a major new fundraising campaign as it tries to ensure it has money in the bank to keep its maintenance up to date.

The campaign – Foundation 2020 – is aiming to raise £10 million by 2020.

It has been given a £1million boost by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which is being put into the new endowment fund.

Loading article content

The cathedral, which is part of the Unesco World Heritage Site, has a backlog of maintenance work which needs to be done to keep it in good condition.

The new fund marks a step change in the way the cathedral operates and will mean more is spent on day-to-day maintenance instead of one-off major projects.

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, said: “Sharing our faith and heritage with the world is a fundamental part of the cathedral’s vision. Conservation and repair of this wonderful building is crucial to this vision.”

He added: “This is part of our long term strategy to create an endowment fund to cover our maintenance and repairs.

“Our aspiration is to create a fund of £10m by 2020. We have already raised £3.87m and the Heritage Lottery Fund has commited another £1m and we are confident we can do it.

“In concrete terms that will generate an income of around 400,000 year on year so we don’t have to raise so much money for repairs and we can make sure the building is maintained to a good standard every year.”

The cathedral decided it needed to take a new approach to fundraising following its last inspection in 2013, when it emerged around £40million worth of work needed to be done.

Maya Polenz, head of property at Durham Cathedral, said: “There’s been a lack of investment over the centuries and a lot of things needed doing at once. We need a way of tackling that for the future. It’s really a big change in the way we are doing things.”

Ivor Crowther, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “The idea behind the programme is for cultural organisations to create an endowment to become more resilient in the future.

“We work closely with the cathedral and are delighted to be able to support it. It’s a world heritage site and it’s very special for the North-East.”