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[06 JAN 99] HERITAGE NEWS
City Spires Get Facelift

Coventry may be famed for its spires, but it could become better known for its scaffolding after the announcement that two of them are to be given a face-lift.

Christchurch, the oldest of Coventry's three spires, was built in 1315 and vital restoration work will begin this week to ensure it retains its land-mark status well into the next millennium.

The project, which will cost nearly 300,000, will include the removal of the top nine metres of stonework, removal of existing steelwork, replacement of damaged stonework and the restoration of the damaged weather vane.

Half of the money needed for the restoration has been supplied through a lottery grant with Coventry City Council providing the remainder.

Councillor Nick Nolan, Chair of the Economic Regeneration Policy Team believes the news is a major boost to the city.

He said:

"The famous three spires form the backdrop to our famous city, and it is great to see this essential work start to renovate this beautiful building.

"The council is committed to re-establishing the city centre as the main focus of the community and acting as the catalyst for economic regeneration of the city."

The news follows shortly after the go-ahead was given to restoration of the Holy Trinity Church spire.

Seven years of fund-raising by the Coventry church are expected to see some reward as three-quarters of the 1.2million needed has now been raised.

The Holy Trinity had hoped that the 237ft spire would be seen in all its glory by the turn of the century after being hidden by protection for nearly 8 years, but it now seems unlikely work will be completed this quickly.

The Church's Vicar Rev David Urquhart admits there is still a lot to do.

He said:

"Even if, by some miracle, more of the city's major companies agree to donate sizeable sums to our appeal, the scaffolding looks set to remain in place for the start of the millennium."
    

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CWN / Heritage / News / 06 Jan 99 / City Spires Get Facelift

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