WORCESTER Cathedral will be aiming to fulfil its vision to become a unique historic learning, arts and heritage venue after being awarded a £1million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).
The NLHF initially awarded the cathedral a grant of £168,000 in September 2017 to develop the project, which will conserve and bring into public use for the first time the 12th century Undercroft to College Hall.
It also involves the conservation of the over-life-size carving of ‘Christ in Majesty’ in College Hall.
During the development phase, the Cathedral worked with local consultants to consult the community and, in particular, with people who do not currently engage with the Cathedral.
The exercise was aimed at developing new and inspiring activities.
The project supports national and regional priorities and will contribute to the prosperity of the county by attracting more visitors, help develop the skills of local people and help to boost the local economy.
The development phase also included securing £500,000 in matched funding.
A fund-raising campaign, launched in November 2017, received overwhelming support and the cathedral is very grateful to everyone who supported the drive and helped reach the target.
The Very Reverend Dr Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester Cathedral said he was delighted with the support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
“We also send our warmest thanks to them and to the many individuals, businesses and charitable trusts who donated so generously to the fund-raising campaign and who took part in the consultations.
“The Undercroft will provide a fantastic new venue in the heart of the city which we are aiming to open it to the public in the Autumn of 2020.”
Becky Clark, the Church of England’s Director of Churches and Cathedrals, said: “Creating positive and lasting change for people and communities is a vision The National Lottery Heritage Fund shares with cathedrals, so the news that Worcester Cathedral has benefited from this most recent round of funding is tremendous.
“The value of our cathedrals is clear to the 10million people who visit each year, and to the hundreds of thousands who regularly attend worship.
“The city and wider community which Worcester serves is at the heart of this project, and this funding awards highlights the enduring importance and appeal of cathedrals, and their ability to maintain traditions of worship and openness whilst also pioneering new ways of inviting everyone to enjoy all they have to offer.”