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Contract awarded to repair wall at St Michaels Church in Sittingbourne

Published Friday 26 August, 2022
Last updated on Friday 26 August, 2022

A contract for more than £100,000 has been awarded to Kent-based Pierra Limited to rebuild the crumbling flint wall at St Michaels Church in Sittingbourne.

The grade II* listed church was built in the 11th century and has been key feature of the town centre for more than a millennium. The church was restored in the 1700-1800s after a serious fire destroyed the lead roof and gutted the church building leaving just the walls standing.

Swale Borough Council received nine tender submissions to carry out the repair work, which were scored against the eligibility criteria, with Pierra Limited offering the best quality of work and price.

Councillors discussed the proposals to restore the historic flint wall at the council’s extraordinary community committee meeting (10 Aug).

Cllr Mike Baldock, leader and heritage champion at the council, said:

“We are committed to restoring our important heritage landmarks all around Swale.

“St Michaels Church in Sittingbourne has been a mainstay of the town, ever since it was a small village centred around the crossroads where our council offices are today, and long before the high street became a shopping area. 

"Once churchyards are closed to burials, it becomes our legal duty to maintain them, and neglecting this duty leads to greater costs later on down the line.”

Cllr Richard Palmer, chair of the community committee at the council, said:

“We’ve awarded the contract to restore the large flint wall around St Michaels Church in Sittingbourne to Pierra Limited.

“The wall has many crumbling holes and has had multiple patch repairs that are of a poor standard over the years.

“It is in desperate need of repair, so we’re pleased to award the contract for the work which is due to start this autumn.”

The contract has been awarded from the council’s high street fund, created from reserves for essential town centre improvements.