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Exeter Cathedral embarks on next phase of ambitious improvements

Exeter Cathedral embarks on next phase of ambitious improvements

Exeter Cathedral has begun the next phase of its ambitious development project.

A CGI image, created by CBG Light Perceptions, of the improved lighting that will be installed in the East End of Exeter Cathedral.
Image by CBG Light Perceptions

 Taking place in the east end area of the historic building, the conservation and improvement works will see the development of an improved sound and lighting system alongside the installation of more efficient heating to reduce the building’s carbon footprint. A new visitor interpretation scheme is also to be created designed to engage a wider audience in the story of the cathedral, dating back to its foundation in 1050AD.

Funded by The Exeter Cathedral 2020s Development Appeal, the project aims to make the space more welcoming for services, events and community gatherings. The appeal aims to raise £10 million, and has already received £9.1 million, including an initial £4.3 million grant received from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, followed by a further £2.9 million awarded by the Heritage Fund in March this year.

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“We are delighted to support Exeter Cathedral with an increase on our original investment, to help it embark on its next phase of the transformation. We recognise that many heritage projects are facing challenging times, which is why we want to support our grantees to keep on track and plan more confidently for the future.

“Not only does the cathedral play an integral part in the community of Devon but it is a building that has been the centre of so much of Exeter’s history. Investing in this project will ensure a new phase for the cathedral, supporting communities, economy, tourism and making the cathedral more accessible. It supports our vision for heritage to be valued, cared for, and sustained for everyone now and in the future. Thanks to National Lottery players, Exeter Cathedral will be protected while continuing to evolve and engage a wider range of people with its heritage.”

This phase of works is also being funded by Benefact Trust, one of the UK’s largest grant-making trusts which supports charities, churches and communities. Senior Grants and Operations Officer, Paul Playford, said Benefact Trust is delighted to be supporting the project:

“It is a huge privilege for us to be supporting this next phase of work at the cathedral, which has a focus on improving Exeter’s carbon footprint as well as showcasing the cathedral’s rich history. This project will be an inspiration for other cathedrals and heritage landmarks, as they look to secure the future of their buildings.”

The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Exeter, added

“We are excited and delighted to be moving on to the next phase of works here at the cathedral, and would like to thank all those who have enabled these essential improvements to proceed, including The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Benefact Trust. Their continuing support is vital to helping our visitors connect with their heritage, and to making sure this wonderful building will be preserved for future generations.”

Work is also continuing on the construction of a new Cloister Gallery, which is being built on the foundations of the cathedral’s original medieval cloisters. Due to be completed later this year, the Cloister Gallery will recreate a covered walkway to connect the cathedral with its 13th century Chapter House and Pearson Building which will house a new Cathedral Shop and Treasures Exhibition space. The new exhibition area will safely showcase ancient collections from the cathedral’s library and archive. New lifts, toilets and Changing Places facilities will also be installed to make the building accessible for everyone.

Find out more about The Exeter Cathedral 2020s Development Appeal Project >