Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the background issues that influence the level of central government funding of the care and maintenance of the provincial Anglican medieval cathedrals in England. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a detailed review of the evolving government policy and funding agency practice. The paper critically examines the levels of financial support provided to specific cathedrals since the introduction of the Cathedral Repairs Grant and the Funding to Cathedrals schemes. Findings – Since 1990, central government, via English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, has offered a comparatively modest level of financial support for the care and maintenance of provincial medieval cathedrals. Yet this funding is balanced by an increased bureaucratic process that ironically increases the cost of care. The budget for grant aid is being reduced annually, ceiling levels to grants are imposed regardless of the cost of the work and previously successful applicants are being excluded from future bidding rounds. More public funds should be available for the care programmes and the support should be more real than rhetorical. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the broader appreciation of the funding system for the care and maintenance of the cultural built heritage under an evolving financial regime based on efficiency reviews. The paper highlights the longer‐term implications of the increased bureaucratic system.
Structural Survey – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 11, 2008
Keywords: Churches; Heritage; Maintenance; Financing; England