FIVE stonemasons at York Minster have lost their jobs since it was announced the cathedral's work's department was to be downsized.

Staff were told they were facing redundancy when work on the building's Great East Window began to enter its final phase.

A month-long consultation period took place, and after coming to an end last month, it has been revealed five skilled traders have left the department.

However, they have been supported in their search to find other work across England.

A statement issued by York Minster said: "We are still working through the redundancy process with the staff concerned.

"We have made five compulsory redundancies which is lower than expected.

"Our strong networks and knowledge of major conservation and heritage projects have helped us to identify 10 vacancies for skilled stonemasons in England and we are supporting the staff who want to pursue those and other opportunities."

Staff inside The Mason’s Yard are primarily responsible for shaping the blocks of stone into profiles for columns, arches, window surrounds and tracery around the Minster.

The department, which also trains apprentices, has been responsible for a number of restoration projects at the Minster in recent years., including carving an imposing figure of St Peter from three blocks of stone.