Minster restoration project gets under way to improve visitor access and facilities (From York Press)
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York Minster restoration project gets under way to improve visitor access and facilities
Work has started on improvements to York Minster as part of a landmark project.
Building restoration specialists William Anelay have started work on refurbishing the piazza surrounding the south transept and the undercroft below the Minster.
Working with architects Arroll & Snell and project managers Gardiner & Theobald, William Anelay, which has been based in York since 1747, has been appointed to carry out the construction works to improve access for all.
The work is expected to be complete by spring next year in preparation for the opening of the Minster Revealed project, a five-year scheme supported by a £10.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The York Minster Revealed project includes the largest conservation and restoration project of its kind in the UK, and is set to transform the visitor experience with new underground, interactive chambers, and a world-class stained-glass gallery, The Orb.
The Minster will remain open throughout the works and visitors will be able to enter the cathedral through the West Door while pedestrian access past the south transept will be maintained at all times.
The piazza area, which is currently laid out on different levels with stone steps and a temporary ramp, will be excavated with the foundations being levelled off. It will be replaced with sandstone and limestone and the area approaching the Minster Gates will be relaid with new sandstone flags.
The undercroft area below the Minster has been home to a museum for many years and the access will be improved with two passenger lifts, and a series of ramps and walkways.
The Rev Canon Glyn Webster, acting Dean of York and chancellor, said: “The work from William Anelay will allow us to welcome visitors to York Minster with much improved facilities, so that their visit will be all the more rewarding.
“This is one of the country’s most loved places, and this enables us to make it known and enjoyed by many more people.”
Tony Townend, Anelay’s recently appointed managing director, said: “We are delighted to be part of this project, which will allow this magnificent building to be enjoyed by all for many years to come.”