Funding approved for £245,000 repairs of crumbling Christ Church

Councillors have rubber-stamped £245,000 funding for urgent repairs to a historic Hartlepool building, after scrutiny over the cost.

Saturday, 22nd June 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Saturday, 22nd June 2019, 06:00 am
Scaffolding around the entrance to Christ Church, Hartlepool.

The proposals to carry out the repairs on Christ Church in Church Square were passed by Hartlepool Full Council after being given initial backing by the finance and policy committee.

The area has been fenced off since a piece of masonry fell from the building in November 2018.

Scaffolding around the entrance to Christ Church, Hartlepool.

Councillors sought assurances the council had looked for the best price for the work and also questioned what the cause was.

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Council leader Coun Shane Moore said the repairs were just down to the number of years since work was carried out, with the council no longer having funding for constant checks of buildings.

He said: “It was last renovated in 1995 and at the time everything looked fine.

“It’s been 25 years since this work has been completed.”

Coun Brenda Harrison was one of those who sought assurances the best people for the job would be found and several quotes would be sourced.

She said: “I accept that these things happen and the maintenance of such a beautiful building is absolutely necessary. I think it is the heart of the town, it really does need looking after.”

Council officers said they had already invited appropriate companies to come and look at the work which needs doing.

Council chief executive Gill Alexander said there were very few people in the country who could carry out the specialist work on the listed building and they have searched for the best estimate.

She said: “Work of this nature requires a specialist in this area and there’s only around three of four in the country.

“Because of the fact there isn’t very many, we’ve already had to go out to source the stone mason who could do the survey work.

“We know that particular person we will likely have to commission to do the work, therefore we felt in the interest of transparency it would be important to be clear about what that estimate would be.”

In total £190,000 will be funded by the reallocation of funds currently earmarked for the Bowls Club, and £55,000 funded from the corporate planned maintenance programme.