Funding spruces up Melton church before visitors return in their thousands

Melton’s historic church is benefiting from more than £20,000 in grant funding to pay for essential work to prepare it for reopening to visitors.

By Nick Rennie
Monday, 23rd August 2021, 12:16 pm
St Mary's Church in Melton with the 'turnaround' in front EMN-210823-120947001
St Mary's Church in Melton with the 'turnaround' in front EMN-210823-120947001

St Mary’s, which dates back to 1170, has about 10,000 tourists passing through its front door every year and the same number again flocking there for the annual Christmas Tree Festival.

Visitors have not been able to enjoy the building, which was extensively refurnished four years ago, since the pandemic struck 17 months ago.

But they will soon be allowed back in with many improvements being made thanks to the £21,400 grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund.

In the churchyard, railings have been painted and trees selectively lopped to improve visual access, and there has been additional planting in the flower beds.

There has been a deep internal clean of the church and a major clearing programme on the gutters and drains.

External noticeboards have been refurbished and tourist information leaflets and flyers produced.

The funding was also used to pay for First Aid training for the church’s team of volunteer welcomers.

The work is expected to be completed soon, with assistance from partners Melton Borough Council, Melton BID, Melton In Bloom volunteers and the Diocese of Leicester.