Wellington cathedral to receive $8.5 million funding

$8.5 million funding

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Wellington is to receive $8.5 million in Government funding from the “shovel ready” infrastructure fund.

The cathedral in Hill St, Thorndon, has been closed since 2018, and the money will go towards restoring and earthquake strengthening the building.

The $8.5 funding will create almost 300 construction jobs.

The  archbishop of Wellington Cardinal John Dew said the money would enable them to not only complete the strengthening to a high standard but allow for base isolation as well.

“We thought we would never be able to do that, but we decided that we would apply to the shovel ready project.”

The church had independently raised $3.3 million so far, and the additional $8.5m brought them closer to their goal of $16m.

“This project is ready to go right now,” finance minister  Grant Robertson said.

“The restoration is expected to take about three years and once complete will see this Category 1 Historic Place once again available for the Wellington community to use.”

“The cathedral is not only widely used by the Catholic congregation but also by the public as a performance space because of its globally acclaimed acoustics.

It is also a tourist attraction because of its architectural merits,” Robertson said.

In May, it received a one-off contribution from the Wellington City Council’s Built Heritage Incentive Fund.

The funding came from the $3 billion tagged contingency set aside in the Budget for infrastructure.

There had been a cathedral on the side since 1851, even before Parliament was built across the road.

The original cathedral burnt down in 1898.

The new one opened in 1901, not as a cathedral, but as a parish church.

It was established as the cathedral in 1983.

The community had been using St Theresa’s in Karori and the smaller chapel on the site for weekday mass.


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