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Bar Convent launches £2m appeal
A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched to help pay for a £2 million project to improve visitor facilities at York’s historic Bar Convent.
The Living Heritage Project is intended to make the convent a “place of welcome and inspiration fit for the 21st century, equipped to share our heritage, stories, values and treasures with the widest audience”, said a spokesman.
The convent, which has been situated opposite Micklegate Bar since 1686, is the oldest living convent in England.
The upgrade is set to make it accessible to all visitors, especially those with limited mobility, but also create a new, interactive, state-of-the-art exhibition over two floors, telling the remarkable stories of convent founder Mary Ward and the convent.
The improvements are aimed at raising awareness of its history and contemporary work, and generating additional visitors and revenue to secure its future.
More than 100 guests from across Yorkshire, including the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Julie Gunnell, and representatives from the faith, education, heritage and tourism communities, gathered at the convent last night to hear about the project.
Sister Frances Orchard, CJ, Chair of the Bar Convent Trustees, was joined from Rome by Sister Jane Livesey CJ General Superior, to welcome guests.
Sister Frances said: “The Bar Convent Trustees’ vision is to contribute to society in the 21st century by offering a place of education, hospitality, and inspiration for people of all faiths and none.
The convent has already raised £340,000 in donations from individuals and foundations during an earlier phase of fundraising, with a £1.65 million target now set to enable completion of the project.
Work is planned to start onsite over the winter of 2014/2015, and should completed in autumn 2015.
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