£11.4m to provide new world-class facilities

Ambitious plans for a £16million redevelopment at Lincoln Cathedral have won the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Lincoln Cathedral is celebrating a confirmed HLF grant to realise the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project – an ambitious scheme to enhance the visitor facilities and experience at the internationally renowned cathedral. This follows on from a £1million development grant which HLF provided in 2015.

The project will provide new state of the art facilities for the people of Lincoln and Lincolnshire to enjoy, as well as the many thousands of tourists who visit every year.

Facilities will include an interpretation centre, education suite, café, shop, ‘Changing Places’ room and community spaces, with full accessibility throughout. Restoration and conservation of the Romanesque Frieze, Gallery of Kings and Exchequergate Arch will also be funded, as well as a new floodlighting scheme which will maintain Lincoln Cathedral’s glorious aspect above the city.

The £16million project will also involve extensive landscaping to the west and north of the Cathedral to create new outdoor spaces. This will open up areas, like the Dean’s Green, to the public for the first time in decades.

Ros Kerslake, CEO at HLF, said: “Lincoln Cathedral is one of England’s finest surviving architectural examples of Norman power and dominance.  With £11.4m of support from National Lottery players, restoration work can now begin along with the creation of a new interpretation centre. We’re particularly supportive of a complementary programme of activities aimed at doubling current school visit numbers as well as drawing in a wider and more diverse range of visitors.”

Digital guides and innovative interpretation will engage visitors in the fascinating stories and events which have shaped the Cathedral’s history.

Lincoln Cathedral Connected will also allow visitors unprecedented access to the Cathedral’s collections of archaeological artefacts, treasures, manuscripts and sculpture. 

New exhibitions and a varied programme of lectures, tours and workshops will be offered to encourage schools, young people, families and adult learners to visit.

The team behind the bid believe the work will result in an extra 125,000 visitors a year, bringing in an additional estimated profit of £500,000 to the cathedral alone – as well as boosting the local economy generally, building on the momentum generated by Lincoln Castle Revealed which was also HLF funded.

The project will create a number of new jobs and volunteering opportunities, and provide training for Cathedral staff and volunteers.

The Dean of Lincoln, the Very Revd Christine Wilson, said: “Lincoln Cathedral rightly takes its place among the very best buildings in the world, and we are absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund have been able to support us in making our facilities fit for the world-class status of the cathedral.

“Today’s announcement represents a huge amount of incredibly hard work by staff and volunteers, and their legacy will be a cathedral that will continue to thrive as a place of excellent worship, and of awe and wonder for visitors from around the world.”
The Subdean of Lincoln, the Revd Canon John Patrick, who is also Master of the Fabric, said: “This project has been many years in the making, and have resulted in fabulous plans which will transform Lincoln Cathedral into a top destination, while supporting our ministry of excellent worship and ministry.

“In the past 18 months we have unearthed some fabulous hidden history, which we are looking forward to showcase when the project is complete in 2020.”