ST GEORGE'S Church in Poole has been awarded £23,000 by the government to make urgent repairs to its roof.

The church, Derby's Lane, Oakdale, is one of 64 historic places of worship in the south west set to benefit from a share of the £3,569,000.

This money is part of a wider £22.9 million funding package announced by Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday.

St George's churchwarden Andrew Lewis, who helped steer the application, said: "We've had a history of the vestry area roof, which is a flat roof, leaking and causing damage.

"In addition, when the church was built in the 1960s, building standards were much lower than they are now, especially relating to insulation and heat loss. The grant gives us the opportunity to prevent damage from water ingress, and in cutting heating costs will help the environment.

"In addition to a thriving congregation, our two halls are widely used by the Oakdale community, which brings people into contact with the church on a daily basis.

"We have also benefitted from grants from the Erskine-Mouton Trust and the Talbot Village Trust.”

Meanwhile, announcing the grants, Mr Osborne said: "Churches and cathedrals are a pillar of British life and we are committed to ensuring future generations will be able to admire and use these historic buildings.

"Thanks to the work we've done over the last six years to secure Britain's long-term economic security, we are able to support the upkeep and repair of places of worship across the UK."

The historic places of worship will receive between £10,000 to £100,000 to meet the costs of urgent repairs to roofs and rainwater disposal systems. Money is also being provided for structural investigations, specialist reports and bat surveys.

Wednesday's grants were awarded through the government-funded Listed Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund - launched by the chancellor in his Autumn Statement in December 2014.