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Hodgson Sayers earns praise for Hexham Abbey repair work

A roofing and building maintenance firm has received praise for its work on an historic structure.

Hodgson Sayers carried out extensive repairs to Hexham Abbey’s roof.

The project included the removal of failed fixings and battens, the repair and treatment of decayed and infested timber, installation of new guttering and flashing, and re-laying of existing and recovered Westmorland slates tiles.

John Sayers, managing director at Hodgson Sayers, which is based in Stanley, County Durham, said: “The Abbey is one of the earliest Christian buildings in the country, making it a true gem in the region’s crown.

“The majority of the works were completed during the pandemic, so the timing couldn’t have been better as the UK continues on a roadmap to a more normal way of life.”

The work was carried out after the Abbey was awarded a grant of nearly £365,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, which covered nearly 80 per cent of the cost of the works.

The Hexham Abbey Restoration Trust met the remaining amount.

Reverend David Glover, Rector at Hexham Abbey, said: “The refurbishment of significant areas of the roof has been a major project ensuring the protection of the building both as a place of worship and as a heritage site of major national significance.

“Hodgson Sayers has been an excellent contractor with which to work and, despite some very challenging winter weather conditions, delivered the project on time, enabling us to meet the conditions imposed by our major funding source.”

Originally built in AD 674 as a dedication to St Andrew, Hexham Abbey was further developed during the 12th century into its current form, with additions around the turn of the 20th century.

In 2014, it regained ownership of its monastic buildings that are now used as a permanent exhibition and visitor centre, telling the story of the Abbey’s history and Christian heritage in the North East.