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St Paul's seeks Lotto cash

02 November 2006

ST PAUL'S Cathedral is expected to submit a multi-million-pound bid for lottery money this spring, to complete its refurbishment, after withdrawing an earlier bid that failed to meet the criteria of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF. The Cathedral needs the money to finish its £40-million restoration in time for its 300th anniversary in October 2008.

The HLF was criticised this week for awarding a grant of £14.69 million to St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, in 2003, while not supporting proposals for St Paul's (News, 6 January).

But lottery officials said that St Paul's had not applied for the money. The controversy has been caused because St Paul's withdrew an application for more than £8 million in July 2003, after lottery officials said that the development would not enable enough visitors to visit the site.

"We were seeking funding from the HLF to open up the triforium level gallery; so disabled people could see the library and Wren's great model of the cathedral, but it became apparent we would not be able to get enough people up there anyhow.  So we mutually agreed to withdraw the application. They wanted the money to benefit more people," a spokeswoman for the cathedral said.

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