BRIERFIELD Methodist Church is pinning its hopes on money from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for essential repairs.

The Colne Road church has problems with its slated roof and pointing which has allowed rain to seep in.

A grant of £193,000 from the HLF will enable re-roofing and masonry repairs to address structural repairs and water ingress.

The Rev Christopher Cheeseman said: “We have already been granted the first £27,000 to employ an architect but we have to re-apply for the rest of the money to actually start the work so it could be next year before any repairs go ahead.

“The roof was built originally in 1861 and at the minute it is weighing down the whole building.

“Without this grant, we will have to look seriously at changing location.

“The church is used for theatre groups and zumba classes. You name it, we’ve got it. This work is essential and without the grant, I don’t know what we’ll do.”

The HLF has provided a total of £4million to more than 30 projects across Pendle in the past 20 years.

This year, it will also support Barnoldswick Heritage Weekend with a grant of £10,000 and Brierfield Action in the Community’s ‘Our World War One History’ project.

Local groups are being encouraged to apply for funding so the HLF can continue to support the borough, but Mr Cheeseman warns the application process is far from simple.

“It’s a 32-page application and is very complicated and time-consuming. But of course, it’s wonderful if you get the money.”

The HLF invests around £375million a year in new projects aimed at preserving our local and national heritage.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson is urging others to apply for the funding. He said: “Pendle is a priority development area for the Heritage Lottery Fund and I have met with them several times over the past four years.

“It is great to see major regeneration projects, such as the one at Brierfield Methodist Church being supported as well as smaller ones.

I would encourage local groups to visit the fund website to see the different types of funding on offer. The 30 projects the fund has already supported has been amazing, but I am keen for even more local groups to apply.”