Sheffield Cathedral receives funding to promote its heritage


The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given the green light to Sheffield Cathedral, the city’s oldest building, to work up plans to significantly improve visitor experience to the building, it was announced last week.

Development funding of £31,900 has been awarded by HLF to help progress their plans, which will include major improvements to the accessibility at the entrance of the Cathedral, new exhibitions, and innovative community learning programmes for people of all ages.

The first-round pass means that Sheffield Cathedral – Grade I listed, dating back to 1430 and housing collections of sculpture and carving of international importance – can now progress to the second stage of the HLF application process. They have up to two years to submit more detailed plans and apply for the full grant of just over £980,000 from HLF towards the £1.25million project.

Visiting Sheffield Cathedral today to offer his support and find out more about what this exciting project could do for the people of the city, new MP for Sheffield Central, Paul Blomfield, said:

“Sheffield Cathedral is an important part of Sheffield’s heritage and a fascinating building. It tells us a lot about our city and the people who have lived here. I’m delighted that this funding will make the Cathedral more accessible for more people to visit and learn about its rich history.”

Showing him around the fascinating building with Dean Peter Bradley, Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, said:

“We’re extremely pleased to give initial support to Sheffield Cathedral for its imaginative plans to make it easier for people to learn from and interact with this wonderful medieval space and the importance it plays in Sheffield’s history. Whilst this is just the beginning of the journey, the award of this development money will enable the Cathedral to work up their plans for a full grant in the future.”

Originally a parish church, Sheffield Cathedral was elevated in status at the creation of the diocese in 1914. Established for hundreds of years as a centre of worship and community, the architecture and significant collections within bear witness to a rich history. With artefacts dating back over five hundred years, the role of women in Sheffield and Yorkshire is especially evident here, and precious resources include Tudor tombs and brasses, important sculptures from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and woodwork and glass from the 19th and 20th centuries. Other medieval gems include the Shrewsbury Chapel roof – the last carved Tudor example on the British Isles – and the breathtaking tombs of the Earls of Shrewsbury, one of whom was jailer to Mary Queen of Scots and married to Bess of Hardwick.

Should the full HLF application be successful this fascinating history will be brought alive by exciting new interpretation and signage inside the cathedral so that locals and visitors alike can find their way through the site and all it has to offer, in addition to volunteer led tours of the cathedral and outreach programmes to local schools.

Peter Bradley, Dean of Sheffield Cathedral said, “We are very excited to be working with the HLF and other community partners on this project, which promises to enable us to open up the wonderful heritage of Sheffield Cathedral to the wider community in South Yorkshire.”

Further information about Sheffield Cathedral is available at: http://www.sheffieldcathedral.org/index.php

Source: Heritage Lottery Fund

Sharan Newman