Burnt-out chapel set for restoration

Cemetery Chapel
Cemetery Chapel

The inside of Eastwood’s historic Cemetery Chapel is set to be restored at a cost of £500,000 after it burnt down last year.

The work, which is set to be completed during 2016, will involve a complete interior restoration following the completion of a restoration programme on the outside of the building.

Police say there is no evidence to suggest the fire, which broke out in April 2014, was arson.

Coun Milan Radulovic said: ““It was heartbreaking when the building burnt down.

“It is a major part of our heritage. Whatever caused it - it was a tragedy.

“The outside has been secured. The roof has been put on and it is structurally sound. This is the second phase. The major cost is maintaining the integrity of the building through stone masonry,

“Most of the cost will be covered by insurance - so around £50,000 will be needed for upgrading. It needs public facilities like toilets, a kitchen and wi-fi. The biggest complaint from local people is the lack of toilets.

“Upgrading the building will also help protect the security of the cemetery.

“We are a Christian country and it is important to keep our heritage alilve. I am delighted to see it restored.”

The council has said it will look at several options for the redevelopment of the building which are yet to be outlined.

Based in Chewton Street, the building has historical significance to the area as well - it is the final resting place of DH Lawrence’s parents, the town’s most famous son.

As part of the restoration works the chapel will be reconstructed, with the addition of a water supply, sewerage, DDA compliant toilet and kitchen facilities, insulation, lighting, parking and heating.

The church was gutted by a huge fire which saw four crews of firefighters work through the night for six hours to bring the flames under control.