Ambitious plans to create a new campus combining high tech and traditional craftsmanship next to York Minster have been revealed today (Tuesday).
The Centre of Excellence would “create a world class campus for research, education and training in the ancient craft skills” vital for the conservation of the Minster and other ancient buildings and monuments.
And it would also teach apprentices and students modern techniques using high tech digital facilities such as modern saw technology, data scanning and computer aided design.
This is what is planned.
The Works and Technology Hub
Housed in the Stoneyard on Deangate, it will be reordered to create space to house a state-of-the art 5 Axis CNC saw and a new band saw. The drawing office will be developed and improved with up-to-date IT and digital technology to support the functionality of the new equipment.
The Heritage Quad
A new “simple structure” – which will replace the mason’s workshop currently located in the Stoneyard. The building will be “designed to sit harmoniously with the city walls and the gardens”. Existing old garages at the rear of the Deanery will be repurposed to provide new facilities for the Minster’s scaffolders and gardeners. The structure will include dedicated residential accommodation for the Minster’s first and second year apprentices and for exchange visitors and trainees.
The 1970s cobbled road will also be resurfaced as part of the plans.
“The uneven surface has become increasingly hazardous over the years making the area almost inaccessible and forbidding for people with disabilities and mobility impairment,” the Minster says.
“The resurfaced road will help Chapter to meets its commitment to make the York Minster Precinct open and accessible to all.”
Outgoing Dean of York the Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost said: “With the generous support of the York Minster Fund, we are aiming to create a world leading facility where ancient heritage craft skills can flourish alongside the latest technology and innovation in the field.
“We have already established knowledge sharing and partnerships with the great cathedral cities of Trondheim, Milan, Cologne and Washington through the vision set out in our Neighbourhood Plan.”
Director of works and precinct Alex McCallion said: “The Centre of Excellence will give the Works Department the facilities needed to thrive and to become an international Centre of Excellence for heritage craft skill and heritage estate management.
“We will work in partnership with other institutions, not least the University of York and City of York Council to continue to build the city’s profile as a world class leader in the care of heritage assets.
“Importantly for York Minster, this critical programme of activity is essential if we are to secure the long term environmental, financial and heritage sustainability of York Minster for future generations to enjoy as we do today.
Find out more
The pre-application public consultation on the proposed Centre of Excellence will open on Tuesday 12 October and will run until 2 November 2021.
Consultation boards will also be available to view on the railings of the old Minster School from Tuesday 12 October.
Or you can find out more here.