Lincoln Cathedral has been awarded £1 million which will help plan for future repairs of the towers.
The place of worship and tourist attraction has won the money from the Heritage Lottery Catalyst Fund under the Catalyst Endowment Scheme.
The endowment must last for 25 years and the cathedral has to match-fund the award to receive the full grant, with the money raised by 2016.
The Cathedral Chapter sees it as an ideal way to plan for the significant challenge which the repairs of the towers will present in about 25 years' time.
Cathedral Chief Executive, Phil Hamlyn Williams, said: "The Chapter was delighted at the news of the award and looked forward to working with the HLF over possibly the longest project we have ever undertaken.
"We do however need to ensure that this fundraising does not interfere with the more immediate fundraising for the turrets, the east end and then the Chapter House – all of which are on our immediate programme of need."
The programme is a joint initiative between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.