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.