Cathedrals among budget winners


Budget 2014

Crumbling cathedrals, the Magna Carta and scouts were among the winners in Chancellor George Osborne's Budget.

Some £20 million has been pledged to pay for repairs to cathedrals ahead of First World War remembrance services, while £1 million will be provided to the Magna Carta Trust to support the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the document.

Mr Osborne said that Libor fines would be used to support search and rescue and lifeboats and provide £10 million to scouts, guides, cadets and St John Ambulance to increase their work with young people.

The Government will also fund the Survivors For Peace charity set up by IRA victim Tim Parry's parents.

The funding for cathedrals was welcomed by the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, Dean of York and chairwoman of the Association of English Cathedrals.

She said: "I am particularly happy to welcome this fund as it is about much more than just beautiful buildings.

"Whether great or small, cathedrals are part of the lifeblood of their cities.

"From back-to-work schemes at Manchester, to concerts at Liverpool, to apprentices and training opportunities at Canterbury and York, they are highly important sources of on-going regeneration."

Sir Robert Worcester, chairman of the Magna Carta 2015 Committee, said the Chancellor replied to a letter he had sent him which explained the importance of their work to co-ordinate the 800th centenary celebrations.

He said that Mr Osborne wrote: "I fully agree that Magna Carta is the foundation of many of the liberties we today enjoy in this country and others enjoy around the world.

"I'm therefore very appreciative of the work you and the commemoration committee are doing to ensure that the 800th anniversary next year is properly commemorated.

"It is important that we use this opportunity to ensure that the public is well informed about Magna Carta and its enduring significance, so to help make the commemoration a success I have decided that the Government will contribute £1 million towards your plans."

He added: "I wish you all the best with the commemoration."

Sir Robert described the Magna Carta as "Britain's greatest export" and said the funding meant "a great deal" to the committee.

"It is an opportunity to assist the Magna Carta towns in this country and Magna Carta committees in other countries, to reach the 100-plus countries wherein live over a billion people whose lives are ruled by the rule of law rather than divine right of kings and upon which their human rights have developed over the centuries," he said.

"When in 1948 Eleanor Roosevelt spoke about the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights she described it as 'A Magna Carta for all mankind'.

"It is enshrined in the constitutions of many countries across the globe, not least in the Declaration of Independence and the constitution of the United States."

The Scout Association praised Mr Osborne for supporting their work in increasing the opportunities available to young people.

A spokesman said: "We are delighted that the work we've undertaken over the past 18 months in disadvantaged parts of the UK, recruiting 267 new volunteers and over 1,300 new young members, has been recognised and prioritised by the Government."

Sue Killen, chief executive of St John Ambulance, which will also benefit from a £10 million-fund to help young people, said: "Every young person should have the opportunity to learn basic life saving skills.

"Through increasing our schools and youth projects, we will be able to provide training and volunteering opportunities for even more young people, including those from disadvantaged and hard to reach communities, and in doing so build the next generation of life savers."

The confirmation of funding for Survivors For Peace for the next fiscal year ends a period of uncertainty for the charity, which assists victims, survivors and other people in the UK affected by terrorism, war and political violence.

Tomorrow is the 21st anniversary of the Warrington bombing that killed 12-year-old Tim and three-year-old Johnathan Ball, injuring 54 others.

Tim's father, Colin, said he and his wife, Wendy, were delighted by the funding announcement.

"Terrorism can affect anybody, any time, anywhere and governments alone cannot intercept and prevent all terrorism," he said.

"The work of organisations like the foundation is absolutely critical and Wendy and I are immensely grateful for the funding announced in the Budget."

Budget 2014: Winners and Losers

Budget 2014: Winners and Losers