A place of worship in Westminster has become the first ever Buddhist temple to receive to receive Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The London Fo Guang Shan (FGS) temple, based near Marylebone, has received £209,300 so it could carry out urgent repairs on its building.
The well-established Taiwanese temple, situated near Oxford Street, currently attracts 18,000 visitors per year and is an active centre of Buddhist worship and teaching.
However, expensive building damage has placed the temple at risk and restoration is crucial to get it back in working order.
The HLF money comes after a successful application for a Grants for Places of Worship scheme.
The grant will support restoration work to the eastern roofs, replacing damaged bricks and rebuilding the high level masonry of the Grade II* listed temple, originally designed by Gothic architect William Butterfield in 1868, and was purchased by London FGS temple in 1992.
Alongside the restoration work, which is expected to take six month, there will also be a programme of community activities and events including archive research into the history of the building and a photography exhibition.
Stuart Hobley, head of HLF London, said: “The London Fo Guang Shan temple has been a part of London’s community for over 24 years and provides a rich programme of events and activities for all to enjoy.
“The temple is currently in need of urgent repair work and thanks to National Lottery players, this crucial restoration project will now be able to preserve the heritage of the temple, keeping it up and running and accessible for all.”
And Venerable Miao Shiang, head of the temple, said: “It was fantastic news when we heard that our grant application had been approved by HLF. This news was received very well by everyone in the temple.
“Our board of directors and trustees thank the HLF for the grant and are extremely grateful for the support. We look forward to working with HLF on this project.”