Cash-strapped English Heritage (EH) has had to join forces with charity the Wolfson Foundation to grant a multi-million pound package to help repair England's crumbling cathedrals.
The joint scheme will see £6 million being pumped into the renovation of 24 cathedrals across England over the coming years.
This year's grants will total £1.6 million, and will be used for a range of projects from masonry repairs at Hereford and Salisbury, to the restoration of a Pugin reredos in Leeds.
Cuts in government funding three years ago forced EH to reduce the scheme to just £1 million in 2004. This new partnership, according to EH, will reinstate the original levels of funding.
EH chairman Neil Cossons said: '[Cathedrals], more than any other type of building, demonstrate the power of architecture to affect us at the most profound level and to remind us of our place in history.
'I am delighted we have been able to double the amount available for the repair of these remarkable and hugely important buildings by pooling our resources with the Wolfson Foundation - a major grant-making charity with which we have worked closely and productively in the past on other areas of the heritage.'by Richard Vaughan