Canterbury Cathedral to be 'radically transformed'

Canterbury Cathedral to be transformed: Heritage Lottery Fund

The Grade I-listed Canterbury cathedral, which attracts more than one million visitors a year, has been awarded lottery funding of £11.9 million.

The money will be used as part of Canterbury Cathedral's Journey project which will aim to "radically transform" the building's accessibility as well as safeguarding its future.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid, including a £930,400 development grant, forms part of the £19.4 million project which will offer a new visitor centre and help to restore and enhance the cathedral's western end which is in need of urgent conservation work, a cathedral spokesman said.
Some of the money will be used for restoring Christ Church Gate and weatherproofing and stabilising the Nave and West Towers, he said.

The Kent cathedral, which was founded by St Augustine in 597AD, is part of Canterbury's World Heritage Site and is famous for its Romanesque and Gothic architecture, mediaeval stained glass, and Bell Harry tower.

"It has been a world-famous centre of pilgrimage since the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket within its walls on December 29 1170. It is hoped a new Pilgrim Pass Scheme will swell the company of contemporary pilgrims and deepen the cathedral's relationship with its neighbours, the spokesman said.

The money will also be used to create trails to guide visitors through the building and its newly landscaped precincts, he said.

Four stonemasonry apprenticeships will allow expertise to be passed on with the help of workshops targeting young people, particularly those who are currently not in training or employment, an HLF spokeswoman said.

The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis, the Dean of Canterbury, said the support from the HLF was a public endorsement of the cathedral's plans for maintaining its architecture and allowing people to be a creative part of its community.

He said: "We are hugely grateful to the Trustees of the HLF for their very generous support and to all our many other supporters in Kent and across the world.

"Now we have two years to crystallise our plans - and to raise the £7.4 million of matched funding that is required.

"That will be an immense challenge, but it is one that my colleagues and I accept with relish."

Angela Dean, a trustee for the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: "Canterbury Cathedral is an extraordinary part of our collective heritage; regardless of faith, its magnificent structure cannot fail to impress.

"Proposals for the conservation of the site will ensure a resilience for the future but will also be a catalyst for much wider community involvement.

"This is just the beginning of a long but exciting journey for the cathedral and those who work there, and we will be supporting them as they continue to develop the project."

Five other sites have also been earmarked for a share of the £72 million HLF funding.

Nottingham Castle will receive £12.9 million to help open up caves beneath the site and to redevelop its museum and art gallery; Bath Abbey in Somerset has been awarded £10.4 million for urgent conservation work and new customer and catering facilities; Beamish: The North of England's Open Air Museum in County Durham has been given £10.7 million to transform the site and to create new jobs and training opportunities.

There will also be a pioneering, dedicated activities space for people with living with dementia - Homes for Memory - the first of its kind in a museum within the UK, according to the HLF.

Blackpool Museum in Lancashire will receive £13.6 million for the creation of Blackpool Museum and Plymouth History Centre in Devon will be given £12.8 million to develop a new centre to bring its collection of archives, films and artefacts under one roof.

Edward Mason, rector of Bath Abbey, said the £19.3 million Footprint project aims to carry out essential repairs to the collapsing floor, install a new eco-friendly heating system using Bath's unique hot springs and build new facilities.

"This is great news for the Abbey as well as the city of Bath and everyone who has put so much time and effort into this," he said.

"The Abbey has been at the centre of the Bath community for over 1,200 years. Footprint will make the Abbey fit for purpose and the changes will make it possible for current and future generations to use understand and fully enjoy Bath Abbey."

"Thanks to the HLF, we are a huge step closer to achieving this."

Laura Brown, director of the Footprint Appeal, said: "We are thrilled to have the HLF's support and are really grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to achieve this in a short space of time.

"The essential groundwork is already completed. We've been granted planning and listed building consent by Bath and North East Somerset Council and we've already seen £2 million of investment, so together with the HLF's support, we are in a very strong position.

"Now of course the really hard but potentially very exciting work starts. There are certainly big challenges ahead but the HLF's decision is the best news we could have hoped for and makes the project a tangible reality."

In order to unlock the full award of £10 million from HLF, the Abbey will need to raise around £7 million in additional funding through a combination of grant-making trusts and foundations, plus donations from individuals.

A major public appeal will be launched later on this year, the Abbey said.

Britain's weird and wonderful attractions
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Canterbury Cathedral to be 'radically transformed'

This folly is the tallest in the world, standing at over 250 feet. Inside its octagonal tower are 403 stairs leading to a viewing platform that affords a spectacular panorama of the town of Halifax below. The tower was originally built as a chimney for an adjacent dye works, but when the owner, a Mr John Wainhouse, sold his factory to his works manager in 1874, the latter refused to pay for the chimney, so Wainhouse kept it for himself and converted it into an observatory. Access to the tower is via the A646, and cars can be parked on Skircoat Moor Road.

You''ll never entirely trust your senses again after visiting the quirky interactive exhibits in this museum in Keswick. The Anti-Gravity Room will throw you off balance, you can watch water dripping upwards, and even see your own skin crawl. To preserve your sanity, explanations are on hand as to how the illusions work, and you can come away babbling about motion parallax to your friends. Keswick itself is easily reached at the convergence of the A66 and A591.

Alongside the A12, just north of Colchester, are five acres of verdant gardens and woodland - a fitting home for over 800 gnomes. As well as spotting gnomes engaged in conventional gnome activities such as pushing wheelbarrows or fishing, visitors can also enjoy the wildlife: ponds teeming with frogs and newts (and even some terrapins), birdlife and deer, and, in spring, a woodland floor awash with daffodils. Indoors, there's a tea room, a museum, and even the opportunity to paint your own gnome.

Like a tree bent by the constant onslaught of the wind, this sound sculpture is set high above the town of Burnley on Crown Point, from where you can enjoy magnificent views over the Pennines. As the wind blows over the moors, it produces eerie chords from the sculpture's steel pipes. To get there, follow the signs for Rawtenstall on the A682 and look out for the turning for Crown Point opposite The Bull pub. Then follow the signposts marked 'Tree Panopticon' up to the car park.

This cabinet of curiosities is the oldest purpose-built museum in Norfolk. It was established by a certain Sir Alfred Jodrell to house his collection of seashells, which he spent 60 years accumulating. On completion in 1915, Sir Alfred and his sisters arranged the shells in their cases, and the museum has remained pretty much the same ever since. Visitors can also see displays of fossils, sharks' teeth, decorated emus' eggs and even a sugar bowl used by Queen Elizabeth I. To find the museum, head north from the A148 on the Blakeney Road to the village of Glandford. The museum is off the right.

Chocoholics flock to this Welsh Willy Wonkas. The converted hill farm offers chocolate-making demonstrations followed by tastings and the opportunity to have a go yourself (no licking of fingers allowed). Then there's the chocolate fountain, the chocolate cinema and chocolate museum;and finally, if you haven't already indulged enough, there's the cafe, shop and delicatessen. The Chocolate Farm is located about 8 miles off the A40 from St Clears, Whitland or Narberth. Brown tourist signs point the way.

While Gateshead received Anthony Gormley's The Angel of the North, the same artist gave Liverpool Bay 100 cast-iron, life-size figures known collectively as Another Place. Dotted along three kilometers of the coastline, the figures (all cast from the artist's own body) are positioned staring out to sea, their feet and legs buried in the sand to varying depths. The sight of these lonely figures is particular poignant at sunset. To find Crosby Beach by car, drive five miles north of Liverpool along the A565 and keep an eye out for brown tourist sign marked, 'Antony Gormley's Another Place'. The beach is five-minute walk from the car park.

There are no roads in this tiny fishing village, nor even a pavement that's worthy of the name. Squeezed between the cliffs behind and the sea in front is a single row of cottages, and residents have to use wheelbarrows to navigate along the footpath instead of cars. To reach this little community, take the B9031, which runs parallel to the north Aberdeenshire coast, and look out for signs to Crovie. Visitors can leave their vehicles at the car park on top of the cliffs before walking down to the village.

In the village of Rolvenden on the A28 is the C.M. Booth Collection of Morgan three-wheeled cars. The earliest of these magnificent machines dates from 1909, and most of them are maintained in full working order. In fact, you may be lucky enough to see their eccentric owner taking one for a spin round the village. Other vehicles on display include a 1904 Humber tri-car, a 1936 Bampton Caravan and a gaggle of early motorcycles, bicycles and tricycles. At the front of the museum is an antiques shop, which sells all kinds of auto-related gubbins.

The 'Run What Ya Brung' events are among the most popular at this motor-racing track - and a great opportunity to borrow your dad'scar and push it to the limit. Other events feature drag racing, monster trucks crushing cars underwheel, extreme performance bikes, wheelie competitions and stuntfests. The track is located just to the southeast of Wellingborough, midway between the A509 and the A6.


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