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York Minster launches £4-million appeal after costs of flagship scheme double

09 June 2023

YORK MINSTER

The Heritage Quad (artist’s impression)

The Heritage Quad (artist’s impression)

YORK MINSTER has made a public appeal for £4 million, after the projected costs of its flagship Centre of Excellence for Heritage Craft Skills almost doubled.

The scheme, originally priced at £5 million when it was announced five years ago, was described in promotional material as “a world-class campus facility for research, education and training in ancient craft skills”.

The York Minister Fund is underwriting the project. Its director, Neil Sanderson, said: “Since the initial inception of the idea of the centre in 2018, we have been working against a backdrop of rising costs and supply-chain issues, and its full delivery is now expected to cost in excess of £9 million — significantly more than at the start of this journey.”

The centre was given approval by York city planners last year, and was due to be completed next year. The contractors carrying out the work were appointed this week.

The Dean, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, said: “We have been hit by multiple challenges since we began, most notably the ongoing volatility of the construction industry. We are therefore hopeful of securing further funding and pledges to ensure this once-in-a-lifetime project can be delivered on schedule as planned, with donations being very gratefully received.

YORK MINSTERThe Heritage Hub (artist’s impression)

“The Centre of Excellence is a first-of-its-kind project, and is critical for helping us achieve the aims of our wider Neighbourhood Plan, which seeks to secure the environmental, financial, and heritage sustainability of the Minster for many years to come. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who already supports the Minster’s work and expensive ongoing upkeep through donations and visits.”

The centre would be spread over two locations close to the Minster: a works and technology hub on the site of the current stoneyard, incorporating traditional stone and wood-working machinery with IT and digital technology; and a Heritage Quad, close to York’s medieval stone wall, providing work and living space for staff, apprentices, and international-exchange trainees. The Quad features a green roof, rainwater harvesting, solar panels, air-source heat pumps, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.

Donations can be made through the York Minster website (yorkminster.org), or by emailing the York Minster Fund (ymf@yorkminster.org).

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