Newcastle Cathedral secures £4.2 million National Lottery grant
England’s most northerly cathedral is set to be transformed after securing a multi-million pound grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, Newcastle Cathedral’s exciting heritage project, Common Ground in Sacred Space, has been awarded £4.2 million. The project will see the Cathedral re-established as a dynamic community hub and a key attraction in Newcastle city centre with significant improvements to the public space outside and an overhaul of its interior to accommodate more visitors, activities and events.
Newcastle Cathedral’s ambitious Common Ground in Sacred Space project will revive and transform the historic fabric of the unique and beautiful building and its churchyard, to revitalise the medieval church’s civic role throughout the centuries as the centre of city life for locals, families, tourists and pilgrims alike.
The total cost of the project is expected to be almost £6 million and The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant is bolstered by additional funding from the Cathedral’s supporters, benefactors and charitable trusts. A large slice of the total cost will pay for the physical changes inside and out, including removal of the pews; installing underfloor heating; renewing the Nave floor to create a stunning open and flexible space; landscaping the south and east churchyards; and transforming the basement beneath the Cathedral hall to provide new staff, volunteer and visitor facilities.
A significant sum will go towards creating imaginative ways of interpreting the unique civic, industrial and spiritual stories that the Cathedral encapsulates in its monuments, ledger stones (the commemorative slabs on the floor), and stained glass windows. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a fulfilling and emotive art, architectural and heritage experience in the Cathedral with new and exciting activities and an events programme for schools, families, community groups, and tourists both from the region and further afield.
Explaining the importance of The National Lottery Heritage Fund award, the Dean of Newcastle, the Very Reverend Geoff Miller said: “We are thrilled to have received this once-in-a-lifetime support. We are delighted that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has put their trust in us and provided a magnificent resource to enable us to deliver a sustainable future for Newcastle Cathedral.
“We have a passionate and highly committed team who are really excited to be delivering such a big project in the Cathedral’s history. After years of careful planning, we are confident that our project will embrace and meet the needs of the people of Newcastle and the region, including the vulnerable, residents, and tourists, by making sacred space common ground.”
Commenting on the award, John Squires, Chairman of the Newcastle Cathedral Trust said: “The news of this National Lottery award is joyously received. It duly rewards the excellent preparation over the past several years by the Cathedral Trust working closely with the Dean and Chapter. Our deep appreciation also goes to the generosity of the many trusts and donors who have donated the match funding required by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.”
The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman said: “This will inspire people for generations. It is wonderful news for the whole of our Diocese that Newcastle Cathedral has been successful in securing this support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The funding will see the Cathedral greatly enhanced as a place of welcome and worship, and its presence in the city centre will be transformed. This further investment in the continuing development of Newcastle’s medieval quarter is creative and exciting for the City and for the Church.”
Physical work will begin in early 2020 with the launch of the redeveloped Cathedral and grounds at Easter 2021. The Common Ground in Sacred Space project is expected to create seven new jobs, one hundred new volunteer opportunities, and attract over 100,000 visitors to the Cathedral every year.
Newcastle Cathedral is actively committed to engage with all stakeholders. To find out more and to get involved in the Cathedral’s Common Ground in Sacred Space project, please register your interest by emailing: CGISS@stnicholascathedral.co.uk or telephoning: 0191 232 1939.