Major development project at Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral is excited to announce that it has secured development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the first phase of a major 10-year capital project. Project Pilgrim Phase One: the Heart of Gloucester aims to celebrate the cathedral’s heritage by revealing stories about the people and events which have helped to define the significant role it has played in the nation’s history.

Development funding of £320,000 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help the cathedral progress their plans to apply for a full grant of c.£4million at a later date. This is complemented by a further £70,000 grant from the Friends of Gloucester Cathedral.

The project includes the creation of a new public square in the cathedral grounds, conservation of the 15th Century Lady Chapel and its magnificent stained glass, provision of a new entrance and welcome area and improvements to access and story-telling across the site. This will be supported by a varied programme of activities aimed at engaging wider and more diverse audiences and many new volunteering opportunities.

The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester, said: “We are delighted to have received this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund allowing us to develop our plans. Project Pilgrim will enhance the impact of a visit to Gloucester Cathedral so that people will be able to connect with its heritage like never before. By building upon the love and pride in this magnificent building, we hope that people will be changed, the city will be encouraged and visitors will want to return again and again.”

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “Gloucester Cathedral has truly stood the test of time having been continuously in use since the 11th century. We were impressed with these ambitious plans, phased over a decade, to conserve the site and make it a much more open and welcoming place. Our country’s cathedrals are extraordinary feats of architectural genius and skilled craftsmanship and Gloucester is no exception to that rule. HLF’s earmarked funding should be a real boost to all who are involved with the project and we look forward to working alongside the cathedral’s team as proposals develop in the coming months.”

In order to ‘unlock’ Heritage Lottery Fund money, the cathedral will need to raise nearly £1.5m in partnership funding. Gloucester City Council has pledged £50,000 towards this total. Paul James, Leader of the Council, said: “The cathedral is Gloucester’s most important heritage asset and we are thrilled to support their exciting plans. Improvements to the setting, fabric and interpretation will provide a focal and rallying point for the whole city.”

Notes to editors

About Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral stands at the heart of the city on a site of Christian worship that stretches back fifteen hundred years. As one of the finest medieval buildings in the country, it boasts an array of architectural styles and is the resting place of King Edward II. Over 250,000 visitors are attracted to the site every year and it is supported by a team of over 400 volunteers.

About Project Pilgrim
Project Pilgrim is an ambitious ten-year programme of activity and capital development to be delivered over three phases. The round one application to the Heritage Lottery Fund referred to in this press release relates to the first phase – “Project Pilgrim Phase One: the Heart of Gloucester”.

Further information

Gloucester Cathedral: Theo Platt, Development and Communications Manager on 01452 874 963, email: tplatt@gloucestercathedral.org.uk.

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