Seddon has started work on the £5m restoration of a grade two-listed church in Lower Broughton which was destroyed by an arson attack in February 2017.
The damage to the 149-year-old Church of the Ascension in Salford occurred just after the community had spent three years fundraising and securing grants totalling £250,000 to go towards a renovation.
Bolton-based Seddon has been appointed for the £2.46m structural works first phase of the project, with the £2.5m interior works to follow.
Architects for the project are Buttress with Thomasons providing civil and structural engineering consultancy.
The church is a rare remaining example of work by Manchester architect James Medland Taylor. The project is forecast to complete in 2020.
Canon David Wyatt said: “Today is a significant day in the long history of our church, this really is a very special occasion. Just under two years ago we were left devastated and distraught by the results of the fire, a lot of hard work literally went up in flames. Yet we never gave up hope that our church and its importance to the people here could be restored and this is a day to remember and cherish.
“So much over the years has been taken from Salford and today Salford is being given something back. Today is the start of a very beautiful building being restored for everyone in the city.”
John Shannon, director at Seddon, said: “This is a real ‘phoenix from the ashes’ project. This is not only about rebuilding an arson-attacked church, much used and loved by old and young alike, it’s also about the restoration of a community.
“It is they and the church’s Canon Wyatt who have been driving this and we are delighted to be involved in the church’s restoration, to transform it again into a fully accessible place of worship for generations to come.”
The work is being funded through the fire damage insurance facilitated by specialist insurers Ecclesiastical who used drone technology to assist it with the initial assessment of the structure.