Sacred Heart Cathedral gets grant from City Council


The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and of Saint Mary His Mother in Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington, popularly known as The Basilica has received a grant of $120,000 to assist in its $3.3 million strengthening project.

The grant is a “one-off” ‘out of round’ contribution from the Wellington City Council’s Built Heritage Incentive Fund.

Wellington’s mayor and councillors voted unanimously in favour of funding the cathedral.

The council has already made a grant of $25,000 to fund the temporary strengthening of the building’s roof.

The project has been jeopardised by the withdrawal of other funding because of the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mayor Andy Foster described the 119-year-old cathedral as one of the four or five most important landmark buildings in the city that still need strengthening and were eligible for the funding.

The parish has also applied for a share of the Government’s post-pandemic funding for ‘shovel-ready’ projects.

Foster said he urged the Government to seriously consider coming to the party.

“This is definitely a shovel-ready project – and jobs are involved,” Foster said.

“This is not only about securing the future of one of our landmark buildings, it’s about keeping Wellingtonians working.”

“Every building that comes off our quake-prone building list makes the city safer,” councillor Iona Pannett said.

“This is a well-thought-out project, and I am glad to see that the parish intends to base-isolated the building.”

Pannett, who holds the council’s Building Resilience and Heritage portfolio, said the cathedral is one of only seven basilicas in New Zealand.

The cathedral closed abruptly in 2018 after an assessment found the building’s structural integrity to be just 15 per cent of the standard for a new building.

At the time it was said the building would be closed for several years and would cost “several” million to fix.

The Catholic Church has occupied the site since its arrival in Wellington in the 1850s and has been the hub of the Wellington Catholic community ever since.


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