Chester Cathedral is bidding to bag a huge cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The supermarket teamed up with charity Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Chester Cathedral is one of the groups on the shortlist for its bathroom refurbishment project.

Chester Cathedral and Donald Insall Associates are working together on a charitable community project with Thorn Cross Prison.

The scheme supports prisoners near the end of their sentence to develop vocational skills in construction, helping them to get back on to their feet when they are released.

The project aims to fully renovate the cathedral bathrooms, which are said to be in urgent need of refurbishment.

The prisoners will fully refit the bathrooms, and will use skills such as plastering, tiling, joinery, appliance fitting and technical concrete pouring.

The Rev’d Canon Dr Barry Wilson, Vice Dean of Chester Cathedral, said: “The cathedral toilets are a key part of our visitor offer and frankly, they let us down. That said though, we simply don’t have the funds to enable us to bring them up to standard. The potential funds from Tesco and Groundwork – through our local community would help immensely.”

Voting is open in all Tesco Chester stores throughout March and April. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

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