Cathedral Lottery Funding

Four English Cathedrals receive £8M National Lottery funding

On 13 May 2019, the Church of England issued the Press Release English cathedrals celebrate £8m National Lottery funding boost: Leicester, Lichfield, Newcastle and Worcester Cathedrals announce awards from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a wide range of creative community-focussed projects. Details of these projects are summarized below.


The Press Release notes “The news follows a huge international reaction to the fire at Notre Dame which showed something of the value of cathedrals to local and wider communities, as well as their vulnerability, and the need for securing long-term funding for repairs and restoration. Development projects like those funded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, remain crucial for all of the Church of England’s cathedrals.”

Case Studies

Worcester Cathedral has been awarded a grant of just over £1million towards the creation of a unique historic venue to facilitate learning, arts and heritage for the whole community in its 12th century Undercroft and to install a lift to provide access for all. During development, Worcester Cathedral sought audiences with those who do not currently engage with the life of the building to develop new and inspiring activities, and the project is aligned with national and regional priorities to contribute to the prosperity of the county by attracting more visitors, developing the skills of local people and boosting the local economy.

Leicester Cathedral’s ambitious £11.3M project to restore the city’s historic cathedral and build a new Heritage Learning Centre beside the main building has secured its full grant of £3.3M from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Heritage Learning Centre, on the site of the former Song School, will be a two-storey stone building with some terracotta and glass features.

The Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith said: “Leicester Cathedral Revealed is very important because it will transform what we will be able to do. It will protect the historic setting of the Cathedral, free up the sacred spaces, provide inspirational interpretation and learning facilities, and be a safe place of hospitality and refuge for those in need. In every respect it will transform the individual experience of being inside the Cathedral.

Leicester has now raised £8M towards this project and hopes to raise the remaining £3M throughout 2019 and begin on site in 2020 with a completion date of 2022.

Newcastle Cathedral’s exciting heritage project, Common Ground in Sacred Space, has been awarded £4.2 million. The project will see the Cathedral re-established as a dynamic community hub and a key attraction in Newcastle city centre with significant improvements to the public space outside and an overhaul of its interior to accommodate more visitors, activities and events.

Common Ground in Sacred Space project will revive and transform the historic fabric of the unique and beautiful building and its churchyard, to revitalise the medieval church’s civic role throughout the centuries as the centre of city life for locals, families, tourists and pilgrims alike.

The Dean of Newcastle, the Very Revd Geoff Miller said: “We are thrilled to have received this once-in-a-lifetime support.

“We have a passionate and highly committed team who are really excited to be delivering such a big project in the Cathedral’s history. After years of careful planning, we are confident that our project will embrace and meet the needs of the people of Newcastle and the region, including the vulnerable, residents, and tourists, by making sacred space common ground.”

Physical work will begin in early 2020 with the launch of the redeveloped Cathedral and grounds at Easter 2021. The Common Ground in Sacred Space project is expected to create seven new jobs, one hundred new volunteer opportunities, and attract over 100,000 visitors to the Cathedral every year.

Lichfield Cathedral has been awarded a grant of £156,400 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for essential research, planning and assessment work on the Cathedral’s future needs – including an environmental sustainability policy – and possible capital building projects around the medieval building and the Close. This 12 month project aims to come up with a strategic plan to better meet the needs of its congregation, visitors, schools and learning groups, civic and community stakeholders and commercial hirers, and improve its visitor experience.


The Notice of Decision of Cathedrals Fabric Commission relating to Leicester Cathedral taken at the meeting on Thursday 31 January 2019 is here (scroll down). This contains fuller details of the proposed work and the conditions relating to the approval.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Cathedral Lottery Funding" in Law & Religion UK, 13 May 2019,

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