Carlisle Cathedral’s Fratry Project is back on track
Plans to create a multi-million pound heritage teaching and learning centre at Carlisle Cathedral are back on track.
It follows confirmation that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded it initial support*, including development funding of £81,000 for its plans to develop world-class facilities in the Fratry building inside the Cathedral precinct.
This first grant means work can now take place to complete a new building design. This should lead to a second grant application of £1.8 million from the HLF within two years.
The Dean of Carlisle, the Very Revd Mark Boyling, said: “This really is good news for us as we begin the New Year. It is a wonderful vote of confidence in our hopes and plans for our buildings.
“We want to make sure that the people of Carlisle and our visitors appreciate the fantastic heritage of the Cathedral and its precinct. The project team has worked really hard over the last twelve months to get things back on track and is delighted at this news.”
In 2014 the Cathedral had to withdraw an earlier HLF application because it failed to get all the requisite support from the planning authorities at an earlier stage.
A new building is needed to provide access to both floors of the Fratry building and to accommodate some additional facilities. Now a new outline building design has been prepared and initial responses from the planning authorities have been positive.
John Nixon, chairman of the Cathedral Development Trust, said: “It was a big challenge to prepare a new application to the Heritage Lottery Fund within a tight timetable. It is very encouraging to win their support again, in a fully competitive process.
“Our learning activity and staffing plans are already well developed and we can now work to complete the new building design. We will be making the plans public as soon as we can.”
Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Places of worship are among the UK’s most historic buildings, with fascinating stories behind them. We look forward to receiving in due course the detailed plans for the restoration that will help to ensure that the Cathedral can expand the learning opportunities it is able to offer to the whole community.”
The new design will be quite different from ideas which had been discussed previously. The proposals include for a single storey new build which reaches out across the precinct towards the Cathedral. The new entrance will remain at the corner of the Fratry building where the present porch stands.
The Dean added: “An exciting bonus is that this will create a better defined outdoor space at the heart of the buildings that were part of the Cathedral precinct. We want to create a modern version of the open space that was once there.”
At the same time the Fratry Fundraising Group will complete its task to secure the partner funding needed to set alongside the Heritage Lottery Fund contributions.
“Thanks to people’s generous response over the last two years, there is just 10% of our total left to raise,” said John Nixon.
“To raise some of that 10%, we hope that an approach to Grant Making Trusts will bear fruit. And we also hope that, on the basis of this good news, individuals who have shown interest in the project so far will want to make a one-off donation or to take out a monthly standing order.”
Notes to editors
Heritage Lottery Fund
*Heritage Grants applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may, as in this case, also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.
From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. www.hlf.org.uk.
Please note all building design images attached are indicative ‘working designs’ at this point.
For further information please contact: Dave Roberts (01228 815401/07469 153658) or The Very Rev’d Mark Boyling (01228 548107)