Work has started on the £5m restoration of a Grade II-listed church in Lower Broughton, Salford, which was destroyed by fire in February 2017.
The damage to the 149-year-old Church of the Ascension, which was designed by eminent Manchester architect, James Medland Taylor, occurred just after the community had spent three years fundraising and securing grants totalling £250,000 to go towards a renovation.
Buttress is working with project managers and engineers, Thomasons, and contractors, Seddons, on the rebuild.
The first phase of the project will involve structural work, re-roofing and masonry repairs. The second phase will involve £2.5m interior works. Wherever possible, surviving and structurally sound elements from the original church will be incorporated into the rebuild.
Commenting on the restoration, Nicholas Rank, Director at Buttress said: “This project will not only see the church restored, but it will also reinstate the building's place at the heart of the community, and provide local people with a place to worship, congregate and celebrate for many years to come.”
During an event held to celebrate the start of works, Canon David Wyatt said: “Today is a significant day in the long history of our church, this really is a very special occasion. Just under two years ago we were left devastated and distraught by the results of the fire, a lot of hard work literally went up in flames. Yet we never gave up hope that our church and its importance to the people here could be restored and this is a day to remember and cherish.
“So much over the years has been taken from Salford and today Salford is being given something back. Today is the start of a very beautiful building being restored for everyone in the city.”
The work is being funded through the fire damage insurance facilitated by specialist insurers Ecclesiastical who used drone technology to assist it with the initial assessment of the structure.