The grant will go towards the total cost of £179,000 to repair the collapsing staircase which is contained in a separate turret to the tower. The grant will also allow the church to repair and open the north porch door, which will then provide easy disabled access and allow use of the lawn area immediately outside.
The Heritage Lottery Fund previously awarded an initial development grant of £29,000 towards the estimate of £38,000 to enable the church to obtain the specialist support, advice and reports needed before any work could take place.
John Brydon, St George’s Churchwarden said:
“St George’s contains various items of heritage interest including numerous monuments, stained glass, carvings and items of church furniture. It is also the home of ‘Snap’ one of the dragons used by the city in civic processions. The church is increasingly being used for concerts by various local choirs and also for talks.
“The regeneration project is called ‘Reach for the Sky’ an appropriate slogan as a large part of the work will be on the tall church tower, which in 1272 was used by the then rebellious citizens of Norwich to fire flaming arrows at the monastery which was opposite. It also encapsulates the need the church found itself in of raising a total of £217,000 to fund the work”.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said:
“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this fantastic project will breathe new life into the ancient Church of St George. Restoration of the porch and staircase will open up the church to future generations.”
Work on the project is expected to commence by early April and be completed by October.