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£2.8 million of National Lottery for Worcester’s historic churches

Worcester Cathedral Cloister, Worcester churches conservation trust

Worcester Cathedral and St Swithun’s Church are each to receive over £1million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. £2.8 million of National Lottery funding is heading to Worcester with two projects being orchestrated by Worcester Cathedral and the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT).

The twin aims are to conserve two historic buildings and create innovative new learningChurches Conservation Trust logo (1) spaces both for visitors and local people.

“This is an important investment that will help to protect and enhance Worcester’s rich heritage for years to come,” says Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands. “These two transformational projects will work to create exciting new spaces and cement the buildings’ places in the city’s significant cultural offer.”

Worcester Cathedral – a unique historic venue

The 12th-century undercroft at Worcester Cathedral will be opened to the public for the first time. The space was formerly a monastic cellar. However, it is set to become a new learning centre. This will include teaching rooms, storage and administration space, reception area, and a lift. The project will span three years and is set to provide a permanent venue for the Cathedral’s award-winning education programme. It will also facilitate conservation and research on the internationally significant ‘Christ in Majesty’ – a 13th-century stone carving.

Development funding of £168,000 has been awarded to the Cathedral. The project will be able to apply for a full grant of just over £1m at a later date.

“This grant will enable the Cathedral to develop our plans to bring into public use for the first time a wonderful 12th-century former monastic cellar,” says the Very Reverend Dr Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester Cathedral. “And provide a unique historic venue to make learning, arts and heritage accessible for the whole community.”

St Swithun’s Church – Sound and Art

St Swithun’s, in the heart of Worcester, will also benefit from HLF funding. The Churches Conservation Trust has received £1.64m to transform the Grade 1 listed church. The plan is for it to become an inspirational sensory space and cultural venue. The aim is also to creatively use sound and art to engage and inspire visitors, connecting them to heritage and history.

Sound and Art @ St Swithun’s (SASS) aims to transform the Georgian building into a cutting edge space. The project is set to run a broad programme of events, from night-time tours to training placements.

Sarah Robinson is Acting Chief Executive and Director of Conservation at the Churches Conservation Trust. She says, “St Swithun’s epitomises Georgian splendour. But the fabric and future of this building have been at risk for some time,”

“This grant, coupled with generous matching donations collected during our annual appeal, will enable us to save St Swithun’s and create a vibrant, sustainable future for the building and the community.”

Image at top: by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

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Charles Read

Charles is Managing Director at Blooloop. He attends numerous trade shows around the world and frequently speaks about trends and social media for the attractions industry at conferences. Outside of Blooloop his passions are diving, trees and cricket.

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