YORK Minster has announced plans to create a ‘world class campus for research, education and training in the ancient craft skills'.

The aim is to establish the Minster Precinct as an internationally recognised Centre of Excellence for heritage craft skills, focused around a campus style facility, said a spokesperson.

They said the centre was a key element of the York Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Plan, currently undergoing independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate.

“The centre will house and deliver training in modern techniques and processes to apprentices and students, working with cutting edge digital facilities such as modern saw technology, data scanning and computer aided design.”

They said existing buildings within the precinct would be sustainably reordered, repurposed and renewed to provide new workspace.

A Works and Technology Hub would be housed in the current Stoneyard in Deangate, which would be reordered to create space to house a state-of-the art 5 Axis CNC saw and a new band saw. The drawing office would be developed and improved with up-to-date IT and digital technology.

York Press: The Minster Stoneyard, which will be part of the new Centre of Excellence  Picture: Mike Laycock

A Heritage Quad would replace the mason’s workshop currently located in the Stoneyard, with the building designed to ‘sit harmoniously with the city walls'.

Existing old garages at the rear of the Deanery would be repurposed to provide new facilities for Minster scaffolders and gardeners, including dedicated residential accommodation for first and second year apprentices and for exchange visitors and trainees.

The 1970s cobbled road would be resurfaced, the uneven surface making the area almost inaccessible for people with mobility impairment.

The Dean of York, the Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, said: “We are aiming to create a world leading facility where ancient heritage craft skills can flourish alongside the latest technology and innovation in the field.”

l For a pre-application public consultation, go to www.masterplanning.yorkminster.org.