Lotto boost for Wakefield Cathedral revamp

Wakefield Cathedral.
Wakefield Cathedral.
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THE second phase of an ambitious £5m project to restore and redevelop Wakefield’s iconic cathedral has been a given a major cash boost.

A £3m scheme dubbed Project 2013 to transform and restore Wakefield Cathedral’s nave was completed earlier this year.

Now Heritage Lottery Fund chiefs have agreed an £86,700 development grant so detailed plans can be drawn up ahead of a £2m project to transform the east end of the Grade 1 listed building.

Cathedral chiefs hope to submit the plans to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a second round bid for a grant of £1.7m in summer 2014, with a decision expected in early autumn.

A new programme of fundraising and social events has already been launched for the cathedral’s latest Rediscovering our Heritage appeal. Susan Rundle, development officer for the Diocese of Wakefield, said: “This is fantastic news and we are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“Now the hard work starts as we prepare detailed plans for this next stage.”

Dean of Wakefield the Very Rev Jonathan Greener, said: “During the past few months, we’ve been getting used to our marvellous new bright and flexible nave fit for the 21st century and we thank everyone who has played their part in supporting us in this vital project.

“We now look forward to the same support as we move towards the second phase of our redevelopment programme to make the east end shine.”

Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer Wakefield Cathedral a development grant to get plans under way for a second phase of works.

“Having completed the nave to an excellent standard, we look forward to working with them to progress the new project so that even more local people and visitors can gain access to and appreciate this iconic building.”

The cathedral’s nave has been transformed with improved lighting, flooring, heating and sound systems.

Pews were removed to create a more flexible space for worship, public gatherings, concerts, celebrations and other community uses.

And a labyrinth has been built into the floor from locally quarried stone.

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