A major programme of works is to get under way at St Eugene’s Cathedral this week to address damp in the building and other defects.
The essential repairs work has now been made possible after £353,480 was secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The main contractor is Stewart & McConnell from Derry and the works are expected to last from this week through to the Autumn.
A statement issued from the parish states: “As custodians of this sacred, listed building of St Eugene’s Cathedral, it has become necessary to carry out essential repairs and refurbishment primarily associated with damage caused by the entrance of moisture to the fabric of the building.
“This is affecting internal finishes, stained glass windows and external masonry (i.e. St Columba’s and St Patrick’s windows).
“The damp entering the aisle wall at the choir is causing large sections of internal plaster to boast.”
The statement adds that the spiral staircase to the bell tower “is cracked and unsafe”, while the existing wrought iron ladder and platform to the spire from the bell tower is also unsafe “and as a result, the spire parapet gutter has not been maintained for several years”.
The parish said they were “delighted” to have been awarded around £250,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a further £89,610 from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, enabling the works to get under way.