The ground has been broken on the site a new £12.4 million Lincoln Cathedral visitor centre, which will display never before seen treasures.
As part of a special ceremony on Thursday, October 4, contractors for the Lincoln Cathedral Connected restoration and renovation works were also named as William Birch & Sons.
The first phase of works will now begin, including refurbishment of the Old Deanery on the north side of the building for the new visitor centre and cafe.
Works will create jobs for local workers, as well as apprenticeships and work experience placements.
William Birch & Sons is known 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 Cathedral, 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.”
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.
The project is expected to be completed by 2020.