More churches put on ‘at risk’ register

St Joseph's Church, Lancaster is 'at risk'
St Joseph's Church, Lancaster is 'at risk'

One in 10 churches across the North West are under threat because of concerns about their condition, according to Historic England.

Over the past 12 months 17 places of worship in the region have been added to the Heritage At Risk Register, including St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lancaster.

Two in Preston - the Church of St George the Martyr, off Lune Street, and the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Grimshaw Street - remain on the danger list because of concerns about their “poor” condition.

The At Risk”register contains 409 sites across the North West, including 134 churches, 114 scheduled monuments, 89 Listed buildings, seven parks and gardens and 65 conservation areas. The total is down by 14 on 2016.

A total of 30 have been removed since last year, including two industrial sites in Lancashire - Aspen coke ovens in Oswaldtwistle and Ashnott lead mine and lime kiln at Newton.

“We’re delighted that 30 irreplaceable historic sites across the region have been saved this past year,” said Charles Smith, the Heritage at Risk NW principal. “Their rescue is important. Heritage promotes a sense of belonging and civic pride – and it can also be a huge driver for economic growth, stimulating regeneration and tourism.

“This year we have seen some wonderful places saved as result of fruitful partnership working with councils.”

“Sadly the continuing decline in the number of local authority conservation officers could start to put these designated historic parts of our region in jeopardy.”

Over the past year, Historic England has given £1.08m in grants.