One of North Herefordshire’s most valuable heritage sites has been given a crucial lifeline thanks to a major Government scheme.

Shobdon Church has been awarded £15,000 after successfully applying to the Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage, set up to help the country’s cultural gems survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Conservative MP for North Herefordshire, Bill Wiggin, said he was delighted at the award and how the money would protect a vital part of the area’s heritage and protect local jobs

The CRF is funded by the Government and delivered by heritage experts – the Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund – to support organisations in England across the heritage ecosystem that are local and national treasures but have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic.

Today Friday, October 9, more than £67m is being shared out among of 433 successful applicants from across England to help with key repair and maintenance work, and help sites operate and recover.

A raft of famous sites across the country have been awarded funding including historical areas, buildings, monuments, collections, museums, archives and places of worship.

Bill Wiggin MP said: “Shobdon Church is such a major part of the heritage of North Herefordshire and the country and I am thrilled this money will help it weather the covid storm and be therefore for future generations to enjoy.

“Not only can we learn so much and gain so much insight from our heritage, but it also provides jobs and a boost for the local economy in many ways.

“And as we get through this unprecedented pandemic, places like Shobdon Church and the tremendous work done there can undoubtedly play a part in our recovery.

“Huge credit must go to the Government for this invaluable support.”

The package of support is the first round of funding from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund. Today has also seen a dozen organisations, including English Heritage, the National Trust and the Canal and River Trust share £34 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund to preserve visitor attractions.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.

“This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounce back post covid.  I’m so pleased that we have been able to help save Shobdon Church.”