Open Treasure: a major development at Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral is undertaking a project called Open Treasure – a major development which will transform the way in which the Cathedral buildings are experienced, understood and used to the glory of God, both as working buildings and to the benefit of those who visit.
The current phase of Open Treasure focuses on the monastic claustral buildings. The Undercroft of the western Cloister how houses a stunning new Cathedral Shop, with a new accessible foyer, alongwith the Undercroft Restaurant.
As part of this first phase, the Choir Vestries have moved to much improved accommodation in the Undercroft of Prior’s Hall, formerly used as audio visual exhibition space.
The next phase of Open Treasure remains focused on the Claustral buildings. Spaces are being opened up to wider public use and will enable the Cathedral to provide its many visitors with new opportunities to experience and understand the Northern Saints, Durham’s Christian Heritage and the life of the Cathedral as a living Christian community today. There are plans to develop a new fully accessible visitor route that takes visitors through the Monks' Dormitory, through a new gallery that will be of the highest environmental standards, and into world class exhibition space in the Monastic Great Kitchen.
The new exhibition spaces will allow the Cathedral to display more of its own internationally important collections as well as host loans of international and national significance. The Monks' Dormitory will continue to provide a library function and the Cathedral Library's Search Room will be relocated into the space currently known as the Library Loft. There are also plans to turn the Monks’ Garden into a spectacular outdoor cafe area overlooking the river gorge.
The Cathedral was successful in its first stage application for £3.5 million to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which means that HFL supports the project in principle and waits for more information through a second stage application ahead of any grant award being made.
If you would like to know more about Open Treasure and how to support please contact Gaye Kirby, Head of Development at Durham Cathedral on email@example.com or 0191 374 4052.
(Posted on Saturday 23rd June 2012)