Plans for a 20 year project to increase the number of visitors at one of Lincoln’s most iconic tourist attractions have been unveiled.
Lincoln Cathedral officials have designed a three-stage plan to ensure the Gothic building gains national and international recognition as a major heritage site.
The first stage, Lincoln Cathedral Connected, has already won backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund with a £900,000 grant and a further £11.3 million earmarked for the development.
The £16 million project includes renovating old and constructing new buildings to create a brand-new interpretation centre, restaurant, gift shop, classrooms and exhibition space.
It will also involve landscaping to the west and north of the cathedral, opening up areas like the Dean’s Green to the public for the first time in decades.
The new visitor facilities and landscaping are expected to be completed by 2020.
But the Connected scheme is just the first step in a much bigger blueprint devised by a special projects team at the Cathedral.
The full programme, likely to cost a further £3 million, includes:
- Converting the current refectory into a reading room and the possible digitisation of some of the manuscripts and rare books.
- Landscaping along the south side to complete pedestrianisation of the close; including conservation of the Galilee and Judgment Porches which are also located on the south side of the Cathedral.
- Changes to the Barbican between the Castle and Cathedral are also being considered.
It is estimated the Connected project alone would result in an extra 125,000 visitors a year, bringing in an additional estimated profit of £500,000 to the Cathedral.
The Very Reverend Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln, said: “The medium and long term plans we have for the development of the facilities at Lincoln Cathedral are very exciting indeed.
“The Connected project is certainly at the centre of our ambitions but when that’s completed we won’t be resting on our laurels.
“Our team are already planning how we can develop further and the next few years could be a defining period in the Cathedral’s history.”