A two-year £5 million project begins today to rebuild a 149-year-old Salford church gutted in an arson attack in 2017.

The Church of the Ascension in Lower Broughton will literally rise from the ashes in a rebuild project by construction company Seddon to be blessed today by Canon David Wyatt who has been Parish Priest of the church for the past 11-12 years.

Canon Wyatt said:

“We’re absolutely delighted that Seddon are undertaking the repair of the church. They are the firm that we very much wanted to do this work.”

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When asked what the £5 million restoration involves, John Shannon, a director for Seddon, said:

“It involves many, many man hours, it involves lots of skilled people and lots of talented tradesmen, and it will involve rebuilding the structure to make the structure safe and stable. At the moment as you can see through all the scaffolding the building it isn’t safe at the moment.”

Phase 1 of the project is expected to cost around £2.46 million to construct the building fabric including structural replacements, re-roofing, specialist stonemasonry and glazing.

Phase 2 of the project which is estimated to cost around £2.5 million will restore the interior.

The church suffered an arson attack in February 2017 having just undergone a £250,000 renovation.

Police believe that the church was broken into before being set alight.

Fire investigators believe the fire caused the gas pipes in the building to melt, causing a gas leak to ignite which caused further damage.

The restoration would not be possible without the driving force of the community, including the church’s Canon David Wyatt who has been involved with the community for more than 50 years.

River View Primary School choir performed a rendition of ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’ for crowds of visitors at the launch, including associates from Seddon and members of the local

There are many events planned to take place to engage the community with the rebuild, including:

  • Resident engagement workshops
  • Site visits for school children/Salford architect students
  • Masonry lessons
  • Shadowing

The reconstruction project is expected to last for 75 weeks.

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