The total cost of the York Minster’s Centre of Excellence is now estimated to be almost double the £5m originally budgeted.

York Minster has today (Mon) announced the launch of a £4m fundraising campaign after escalating costs has pushed the expected cost of the scheme to exceed £9m.

The campaign comes the Chapter of York has enlisted York-based heritage contractors Simpson, whose previous works include restoring Cliffords Tower in York and Rievaulx Abbey, to deliver the centre of excellence.

Simpson will create a world-class campus facility for research, education and training in the ancient craft skills required to preserve and maintain the Minster for future generations.

Portakabin buildings milestone in Minster's Centre of Excellence

The church says the centre will prolong the traditional crafts of stonemasonry and glaziery through the introduction of cutting-edge technology, and also establish the Minster as an international example of best practice in managing complex heritage estates.

The funding for the Centre is being underwritten through the York Minster Fund, which has today announced a £4mfundraising campaign to complete the project, something expected next year.

Neil Sanderson, Director of the York Minster Fund, said: “The Centre of Excellence will deliver long term sustainable benefits both financially, and in the maintenance of heritage skills to York Minster, the heritage community, and the wider city.

“However, 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 £9m, significantly more than at the start of this journey.”

£5m York Minster 'Centre of Excellence' approved

The Very Rvd Dominic Barrington, Dean of York Minster, said: “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. However, we have been hit by multiple challenges since we began this project in 2018, 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.” 

The York Minster Neighbourhood Plan is ambitious masterplan to secure a sustainable future for York Minster.

York Minster submits plans for Centre of Excellence for Heritage Craft Skills

Formally adopted by City of York Council last year, its delivery will signal the largest planned programme of works at the Minster and its surrounding Precinct since the Victorian era.

It was recently nominated for a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) award for Planning Excellence.

To donate to the Centre of Excellence fundraising campaign, visit:

Pledges can also be made by emailing the York Minster Fund at