Work has started on a £400,000 project to carry out urgent repairs to the roof of Delapre Abbey.
The project is being jointly funded by Northampton Borough Council and English Heritage, and is part of the multi-million pound restoration of the abbey.
A £200,000 grant has been awarded from English Heritage’s Historic Buildings, Monuments and Designed Landscapes Scheme.
This funding English Heritage makes available for conserving and restoring the country’s most significant historic assets.
Northampton Borough Council is also investing £200,000 in the project to preserve the building.
Building work to repair to roof of the main building has begun, and is essential to prevent leaks into the building that has caused damage to the interior of the Abbey.
At the same time there are also urgent structural repairs to the north wing of the building.
Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “The restoration of Delapre Abbey is an important step in protecting and preserving our town’s rich history. This year marks a number of important anniversaries for our town, and Delapre Abbey is a prominent feature in the story of Northampton.
“The future of Delapre Abbey is looking good, with significant investment from the borough council and essential funding secured from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund to start bringing the building back into use for everyone to enjoy. Repairs to the roof is another positive step in the preservation of this unique building for future generations.”
Anthony Streeten, English Heritage planning and conservation director for East Midlands said: “We are delighted to be working with Northampton Borough Council on repairs to Delapre Abbey. The Abbey has been on our Heritage at Risk register for many years and we hope these repairs will help get this important building’s future secured.”
A spokesperson for Friends of Delapre Abbey said: “The repair of the Roof represents an important step towards the safeguarding of this historic building the restoration of which will give the Abbey the opportunity to be enjoyed as a leisure and tourism resource.”
Northampton Borough Council and Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust have also been successful in bidding for £3.6million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the main Abbey building, the 18th century stable block and 19th century stable yard, with work on the projects starting once the restoration of the roof.