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Thirties landmark church wins lottery funding

One of the better known landmarks of 1930s architecture, the Grade II- listed St Nicholas Church, Burnage, Manchester (1932) has been awarded a grant of £1.1 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Described by Pevsner as a 'milestone in the history of modern church architecture' the German Expressionist-inspired church has been a cause for concern for many years.

The award for the Cachemaille-Day church is for the provision of new social facilities to include a meeting hall, loos and circular chapter house of acid-etched glass as well as much needed general conservation work. The new design, by Wigan-based Anthony Grimshaw, was won after a limited competition. It envisages the new facilities being inserted into the 1962 western extension of the church leaving the original east end unaltered.

Heritage groups including the Ancient Monuments Society and the Twentieth Century Society have opposed previous schemes which envisaged greater damage to the existing fabric. A spokesman at the Ancient Monuments Society welcomed the scheme.

The large size of the awards largely accounted for the need for improved security measures to ensure that the fund's money is not wasted. Two previous meeting halls outside the church have both been the target of arson attacks.

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