Lincoln Cathedral has appointed William Birch & Sons to begin the vital restoration and renovation works as part of the National Lottery funded Lincoln Cathedral Connected project.
The first phase of works will see the contractor restore and refurbish the Old Deanery and create the much-anticipated new visitor centre, which will display some of the Cathedral’s never seen before treasures.
The works will create jobs for local workers as well as offer work experience placements and apprenticeships for local students.
The contractor was selected for its expertise in the heritage and restoration sector, currently delivering the restoration of Hylton Castle, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and having completed the refurbishment of Nostell Priory, a Grade 1 listed stable block for the National Trust.
Chris Birch, Chairman at William Birch & Sons Ltd said: “We are in awe of the incredible architecture and place making of the Cathedral and its impact on the local community. It is an absolute pleasure to be selected to work with the project team in the next phase of the Cathedral’s journey.
“Our team’s expertise in the heritage sector coupled with local recruitment and engagement with many local businesses will bring wider benefits to the city of Lincoln and its people.”
Further works to the Cathedral in addition to the Old Deanery and new visitor centre will include landscaping works to the North Green and Dean’s Green, conservation works to the Eastgate Wall, conservation to the Exchequergate Arch, works to the Parvis (the paved area in front of the Cathedral) and works to the Cathedral’s feature lighting.
Conservation works to the West Front of the Cathedral have been underway since earlier this year and are being carried out by the Cathedral’s skilled craftsmen and women.
The Reverend Canon John Patrick, Subdean of Lincoln, said: “The community is very much at the heart of our plans for Lincoln Cathedral Connected. The renovations to the Old Deanery bring new opportunities for engaging with local people and visitors from further afield. We’re very much looking forward to having community rooms and new spaces which can be used for education and hospitality.
“These works are essential in preserving the rich history of the Cathedral, a building deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of people from around the world as a holy place of worship and an architectural gem.
“William Birch has worked on some of the most important civic and cultural buildings in the country and we believe that our beloved Cathedral is in the best possible hands.”
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players and awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), these restorations will protect the Cathedral and create new spaces for all visitors to enjoy.
Jonathan Platt, head of HLF East Midlands, said: “We are delighted that thanks to National Lottery players we are able to support this important project to restore and enhance one of Britain’s most impressive and best-loved cathedrals for worshippers, local people, visitors, skilled craftspeople and heritage apprentices.”
This part of the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project is expected to continue until 2020. The Cathedral will continue to remain open for visitors to enjoy during this time.