Since opening the Cathedral at Height project to the public in April, Chester Cathedral has earned a Trip Advisor Excellence Award. This follows an increase in footfall at the Cathedral of 350% and the reward of much needed additional revenue from over 7,500 ‘intrepid explorers’. The project has also won an award in the Chester Civic Trust’s New Year Honours List 2015.
Visitors have enjoyed accessing areas of the Grade I listed cathedral previously unseen by the public after extensive work by restoration architects Donald Insall Associates.
Work began in Summer 2013 and involved the cathedral tower, tower roof, bell-ringing chamber and bell-frame chamber’s preparation for public access.
The tour of the cathedral includes high-level, panoramic views of the city and five counties. It was officially opened in September by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Earl and Countess of Chester.
Chairman of Donald Insall Associates, Tony Barton who took part in the official opening said:
“This complicated project involved very real challenges for the design team to provide safe access and open up previously unseen areas of the cathedral. It involved new balustrades, viewing platforms, lighting, handrails, staircases and interpretations. The challenges were overcome by the design team and contractors to deliver the project on time and on budget.”
Donald Insall Associates worked with William Anelay Ltd, Turner and Townsend, Ramboll UK and Bob Costello Associates.
Chester Cathedral received a £1.3 million grant from Cheshire West and Chester Council to carry out the work which also involved stakeholders Cathedral Fabric Commission for England, Chester Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, Chester Renaissance, Chester Civic Trust and English Heritage.