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National Lottery funding for an improved visitor experience

By Jill Taylor

I know many of you will have heard from Jonathan that there is lottery good news but I thought you might like to see an extract from the formal press release (below).

Some of you may be thinking that this capital work will all take rather a long time before we see tangible results and also recognise there are a serious quantity of pennies to be raised in addition to the large sums noted here, but I am sure you will join with me in refusing to be daunted by the size of the fundraising task ahead. This is a very positive first step towards the investment our glorious cathedral needs and will help to address many of the things we have needed for years (including something that is on the top of practically everyone’s list, better and accessible loos!).

I like the thought that we can achieve this together and while we can’t be together for fundraising events and social occasions in the short-term, we can all perhaps do a few things to help. For instance, if you are taking the time at home to tidy up your study and review your paperwork perhaps you would consider adding the Cathedral to your list of charitable gifts in your Will by sending a note to your solicitor. You are potentially spoilt for choice as you can support the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, the Friends of Exeter Cathedral (charity no.207096) and Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust (charity no. 297365). It would be marvellous if you could give any gift at all as every sum makes a difference to those that come after us but if, having taken care of your family, you are able to stipulate 1% that would be fantastic. If you are in any doubt do however, consult a financial advisor or your solicitor as we want you to feel happy that you have done the right thing.

While I’m working from home, I’m already putting my mind to the kind of celebration we might stage once we’re able to get together again. Securing this money in challenging circumstances is worthy of a real party.  I’d like to suggest that we might have a concert on the theme of water (to perhaps mark our progress in funding new WCs inside the cathedral).  If you have a chance, why not email me aquatic suggestions: light and serious. We can then put our ideas to our music colleagues and see what kind of a repertoire we end up. I’m also keeping myself amused with puns hopefully with your support we will be ‘flushed with success’! Don’t worry, I’m going now… I will give more on other development news next week but in the meantime here is the Press Release. Keep well everyone. Jill


Exeter Cathedral is delighted to receive initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the first phase of a major project, ‘The 2020s Vision, Investing in our Welcome’. Made possible by National Lottery players the project aims to make the Cathedral more inviting so that some of the untold glories of the building and hidden treasures can be highlighted and explored by visitors for the first time. The Cathedral is the focal point of Exeter City and has many splendours which are unique examples of our heritage – not found anywhere else in the world.

Development funding of £659,000 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help the Cathedral to progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £4,290,500 at a later date. The plan will address the failing fabric in the East End and the adjoining Chapter House, interpret these parts of the building afresh, and improve the visitor experience.  The new cloister gallery is an opportunity to improve access for all to disparate parts of the building, and enable the treasures to be displayed so new people can discover and enjoy their heritage.

An exciting educational programme is also planned with the Cathedral proposing to trial some new events and activities during the development phase. In addition, the Cathedral hopes to welcome new volunteers to join the 500 people who already generously donate their time and expertise.

Commenting on the award The Dean of Exeter, the Very Reverend Jonathan Greener said,

‘We are thrilled to have this support. Exeter Cathedral is in great need of investment to help us welcome and engage with many more people from across Devon. The Cathedral is one of Europe’s great medieval cathedrals; the most significant building in Devon. The development funding will help us to ensure that it is fit for all our purposes in the 21st century.

We long to reach out to new people, especially those who think this cathedral is not for them, and let them experience its mystery, its wellbeing and its beauty’.

This project will enable all, from the casual visitor to the in-depth researcher, to increase the effectiveness and enjoyment of their visit, and will embed new learning opportunities, adding to the cultural heritage of the South West.  The project has the potential to add great value to the UNESCO City of Literature.