Visitors are set to get better access to upstairs and downstairs in Wakefield Cathedral thanks to a £50,000 grant from WREN, a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects.
The money, awarded by WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund, will be used to improve access between the nave and the crypt of Wakefield’s iconic building by installing a special lift that can take visitors and those with pushchairs and impaired mobility between the two floors, opening up both parts of the Cathedral to everyone. Since project 2015 restored the Pearson crypt, originally opened in 1905, access has been restricted to those able to use the early 20th century stone staircase to the lower floor.
The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Wakefield said ”I am excited by this latest addition to our wonderful Cathedral, I know it will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area and their ability to come and join us at events and community gatherings both in the nave and in our beautifully restored crypt.
He added: “This project will provide a real boost to the people of Wakefield. It will provide us with much needed additional space for meetings, lectures and exhibitions as well as being made available to community groups. It’s fantastic that WREN has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to our new addition taking shape over the next 12 months.”
WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Penny Horne, WREN’s grant manager for Yorkshire, says: “We’re delighted to be supporting Wakefield Cathedral's disabled access lift project and hope that our funding will make a big difference to lots of groups of people across the Wakefield District. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and we’re looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.”
Dean Jonathan hopes the access lift will be ready to use by Autumn 2018.