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Bid to save Bradford Synagogue gets Heritage Lottery Fund boost
11:00am Monday 7th October 2013 in News
The city’s last remaining synagogue has received a cash boost of nearly £15,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which could eventually lead to an injection of £103,000 for urgent repairs to the building.
The money has been awarded so Bradford Synagogue can work up a development plan to ask the Heritage Lottery Fund for the £103,900 to carry out repairs to the building in Bowland Street, Manningham.
The cash will come under the Grants for Places of Worship scheme, which provides funds for listed places of worship of all denominations and faiths to support urgent repairs to the fabric of the building, with a focus on projects costing less than £250,000.
There is a two-stage application process, with development funding available at stage one to help work up proposals.
A Heritage Lottery Fund spokesman said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund has given initial support to the Grade II* Bradford Synagogue under its Grants for Places of Worship scheme. The project aims to carry out urgent repairs at the building. Development funding of £14,900 has been awarded so that Bradford Synagogue can progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.”
English Heritage has also confirmed the building will be added to the Heritage at Risk register.
The news comes months after Bradford Council for Mosques and other businesses and groups in the area worked together with the local authority to raise funds for the Bradford Synagogue, to ensure the building remains a sacred space for future generations.
Rudi Leavor, chairman of Bradford Synagogue, has previously said that money raised would help to sustain the Grade II* listed building.
He described the building as a “jewel” for not only Jewish people, but for Bradford as a whole.
There has been a strong Jewish community in Bradford since the early 19th century.
At the height of the city’s wool and textile boom many Jewish people came from Europe to settle in the city.
In recent years the Jewish community in Bradford has been in decline and the synagogue has been under threat of closure because of a lack of funds.
Mr Leavor has said: “The contribution of immigrants to this region has been outstanding and the current wave has followed in that tradition of mutual help, communal involvement and harmony. We are all working together to save the synagogue with the help of the local authority.”
Alan Harris, from the synagogue said: “Our 133 years old Grade II listed synagogue has been in need of tender loving care for some time now.
“Our congregation has not been able to raise the large amount of money required to remedy the effects of age, wind and weather.
“An urgent repair was funded by a nearby businessman on behalf of the local community. This will allow the major water ingress to be halted.
“However, there are many other very urgent things to be done, such as conservation work to the fabric of the building, roofing works, masonry repairs and much-needed repairs to the structure and timber roof truss. Windows and rainwater goods also need to have attention.
“With the gaining of a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to supplement our own fundraising efforts, the building can be saved for current worshippers and visitors ensuring that future generations can enjoy this important heritage site,” said Mr Harris.