Housing plan for Guildford

27 September 2013

By Helen Saxbee

GUILDFORD Cathedral yesterday announced a seven-year strategy for fundraising and investment. The plans include the building of houses near the cathedral.

The new Dean of Guildford, the Very Revd Dianna Gwilliams, said that a "fundamental part" of the plan was to ensure a sustainable financial future for the cathedral. The cathedral cost £1.17 million a year to operate, and currently ran at a deficit of around £100,000 a year, she said.

The "Guildford 2020" proposals include plans to release an area of land on Stag Hill, to develop social and private housing. Incorporated in the plans is the replacement of the present Chapter housing with a new Cathedral Close to accommodate clergy and staff. New facilities generated by the sale of land are intended to generate income through Christian education, music and tourism.

Dean Gwilliams said that the cathedral was "at a crucial point" in its history, and that it had never enjoyed financial security.

She said that the 2020 strategy "provides a framework for an extensive programme of investment which will enable us to establish a strong new physical link with the town, and realise the original vision for the cathedral's surroundings, which included landscaped grounds, housing and buildings for community use."

The cathedral Chapter and its advisers would be "engaging in extensive public consultation". A competitive tender process is under way.

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