THOUSANDS of pounds could be poured into a fund to repair the roof of Sunderland’s historic Minster.
The Minster is in the running to clinch nearly £171,200 of funding, which would be used to repair the south side roof and improve facilities for visitors.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has backed the church’s proposals for the cash injection, which is nearly two thirds of the project’s total costs.
If successful, the funding would go towards a host of improvement plans for the city’s church, including replacing the south aisle lead roof, repairing stonework and training volunteers.
The church is through the first round of bids and now has up to two years to submit a full plan of action to compete for the cash award.
Sheila Bamber, Canon Provost at Sunderland Minster, said: “This is an important building and a historic site.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund support will help us to ensure that it is preserved.
“It will also support our work to reach out to more people, to encourage them to visit this iconic building.” Known as Sunderland Minster, the church’s full title is Minster Church of St Michael and All Angels and St Benedict Biscop.
A church dedicated to St Michael has stood on the site for more than 1,000 years.
The parish of Bishopwearmouth, which is south of the River Wear, was founded in about 940AD, with an original stone church built shortly afterwards.