Work has officially begun on the creation of York Minster’s Centre of Excellence.
The project aims to create a world-class campus facility for research, education and training in the traditional craft skills required to preserve and maintain the Minster for future generations.
The centre – full title the Centre of Excellence for Heritage Craft Skills and Estate Management – includes the development of two sites, the Heritage Quad and the Works and Technology Hub.
They will provide new facilities for craftspeople, including York Minster’s stonemasons, and deliver training to students from across the world, working with cutting edge digital technology.
The Centre of Excellence is expected to be completed in summer 2024. It forms part of the York Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Plan which sets out to ensure a sustainable future for the Minster and its 17 acre estate.
A ceremony to mark the start of construction work took place in the grounds of what will become The Heritage Quad. This will be built in part of the gardens of Minster Court and the Deanery’s garages and workshops.
The Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, and Andy Gatenby, managing director of Simpson, the specialist heritage contractor delivering the works, ceremonial broke ground at the site.
“Start on site at the Centre of Excellence is a significant milestone in our journey to establish the precinct as a leading destination for preserving and maintaining heritage craft skills,” Dean Barrington said.
“It also marks an important moment of our neighbourhood plan, which is the biggest programme of planned works at York Minster and its precinct in 150 years.
“We’re incredibly excited to start watching the new sites and facilities become a reality over the next year.”
Andy Gatenby added: “As a proud-York based construction company, delivering a project such as York Minster’s Centre of Excellence is a huge honour.
“We’re not only helping to create exceptional new buildings and workspaces in the area, but it’ll also bring additional benefits, including preserving and developing ancient craft skills.”
The cost of the project was originally put at £5 million, but that has spiralled to £9 million
The funding for the centre is being co-ordinated by the York Minster Fund, which recently announced a campaign to raise an additional £4m to support the completion of the project.
There’s more about the project on the York Minster website.
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