THE appeal to raise half a million pounds to repair and conserve Evesham's iconic Abbey Bell Tower has received a great boost.

News of a £10,000 grant came at the weekend giving the appeal a push towards its total of £500,000.

So far around £90,000 has been raised by the appeal, which is backed by the Journal, and it's hoped a further £300,000 will be awarded to the campaign through other grants.

Sue Ablett, chairman of the Bell Tower Appeal said they were delighted to find out about the grant from the Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust.

"I happened to be in the church office with the treasurer Stan Brotherton on Saturday and he opened a letter with the news," said Dr Ablett. "This follows the award of another grant recently, £2,000 from Laslett's Hinton Charity.

"We always expected the bulk of the funds needed to come from grants. Apart from our big Heritage Lottery Fund grant, we have submitted a lot of other grant applications.

"Success rates are traditionally quite low, and there is a lengthy time scale from submission to notification. This moves us another step nearer to our overall target. We still have a lot of work to do but the committee remains very upbeat."

But there is still a lot to be done and the committee are working hard to organise a range of fundraising events.

Dr Ablett added: "We hope these will all raise valuable funds, but also contribute significantly to the social calendar in Evesham. Details of all our events can be found on our website and on posters around the town. Do come along and support us."

The committee is always keen to hear from anyone who can help and Dr Ablett thanked Journal readers for recent donations. "Recent contacts from Journal readers have resulted in the donation of a large number of handbags for one of our stalls, some cash in the attic items, and an offer to host a coffee morning or raffle for the Appeal."

If anyone else can help in any way, or would like more information about the appeal, do get in touch with Sue at or telephone 07871285606.